Thompson’s career-high 41 points paces Warriors past Lakers

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — It’s official: Klay Thompson loves to play the Los Angeles Lakers.

Thompson scored a career-high 41 points, guiding the Golden State Warriors to their first home win of the season with a 127-104 victory over Los Angeles in front of a sellout crowd of 19,596 at Oracle Arena Saturday night.

“We got into a great offensive flow tonight,” said Thompson, who also grabbed five rebounds. “I thought if we could stay aggressive and play well, we could win.”

Stephen Curry scored 31 points and dished out 10 assists (turning the ball over just twice).

“We wanted to come out and be aggressive and feed off this crowd,” Curry said. “It was a collective win.”

Golden State found themselves down by 43-33 in midway through the second quarter, but went on a 25-4 run to take a 61-55 lead at halftime. After Los Angeles shot 63% from the floor in the first quarter, Golden State limited the Lakers to just 50% shooting in the second quarter.

Harrison Barnes added 15 points, and Draymond Green chipped in nine points and five rebounds while starting in place of injured power forward, David Lee.

Andre Iguodala and Leandro Barbosa scored nine points each to the lead the Warriors’ scoring off the bench.

“We got a lot to work on, but when you have Thompson and Curry in the backcourt, with the versatility of a [Harrison] Barnes and a [Draymond] Green, its fun to coach,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

“I thought our energy didn’t really show up until the third quarter, but I liked how we responded and continued to play hard and executed  the game plan better.”

After shooting 3-of-10 from the field and scoring just eight points in the first half, Kobe Bryant scored 19 of his 28 points in the third quarter. Bryant and Thompson put on a show in the third quarter, trading baskets and playing each other aggressively. The Lakers’ legend also finished tied for the team lead with six rebounds.

“He’s [Bryant] is such a great player that’s done it all in the league,” Thompson said, “He’s amazing.”

Jordan Hill scored 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting, and Wesley Johnson added 15 points. Ed Davis had 13 points and six rebounds for the Lakers.

Los Angeles has dropped their fourth game in five nights and at 0-4, it’s the first time that the Lakers have started a season 0-4 in their history in Los Angeles.

The Warriors had their way with the Lakers down low, outscoring Los Angeles 62-42 in the paint. Golden State smothered Los Angeles’ 3-point shooting, handcuffing the Purple & Gold to 4-of-14 (28%) from beyond the arc.

The real story was the play of Thompson, who finished 14-of-18 shooting from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Thompson’s previous career-high of 38 points came in Golden State’s home opening win last year against, coincidentally, the Lakers.

Many wondered after Thompson and Golden State agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $70 million if Thompson is even worth such a large financial commitment. I think with Thompson’s performance tonight, he’s answered the question that the money that Golden State has committed into keeping the “Splash Brothers” together, will be well spent.

“We had some great flow tonight…It’s always fun playing the Lakers,” Thompson said.

At 2-0, Golden State heads to Portland to take on the Trailblazers and Oakland native, Damien Lilliard, Sunday before returning home to take on their bitter rivals the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Game Notes:

The Golden State Warriors announced Thursday that the team has exercised the fourth-year contract options on forward Harrison Barnes and center Festus Ezeli, which are for the 2015-16 NBA season. The team did not exercise the third-year contract option on guard Nemanja Nedovic.

 

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