Photo credit: @warriors
By Jerry Feitelberg
SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden State Warriors downed the Los Angeles Lakers 124-103 to finish the preseason with a 2-3 record. People have to keep in mind that the preseason games are used to see how the new players will mesh with the returning veterans. The Warriors used many combinations in the first four games to see who they would keep on the roster. The process was complicated by injuries to several players. Kevon Looney, Willie Cauley Stein, Alec Burks, and Alen Smailagic did not play a single minute in the preseason. Will the two big men available, Marquese Chriss, taking advantage of the opportunity, earn a spot on the roster? The 22-year old big man will probably start at center next Thursday when the Warriors open the season against the revamped Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors released Alfonzo McKinnie on Friday to make room for Chriss. The Warriors were up against the salary cap and had to either release McKinnie or trade a player. Golden State opted to release McKinnie.
As for Friday night’s game, the Warriors beat the Lakers for the first time this preseason. Perennial All-Star LeBron James did not play. The Lakers rested their other three big men. Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, and JaVale McGee all rested. The Lakers started Jared Dudley at the center position Friday night. Even with the big men on the Lakers’ bench, the Warriors began slowly. They trailed the Lakers 24-14 when they went on a 12-4 run late in the first period to trail by five 29-24. They outscored the Lakers 7-3 in the last minutes to close the gap to one 32-31.
Early in the second quarter, the Warriors grabbed the lead for the first time 41-40. Steph Curry led the Warriors’ offense as they finished the first half with a 16-point advantage 71-55. Curry hit a three as time ran out, and the crowd went crazy. Steph knocked down 22. D’Angelo Russell added 12, and Glenn Robinson had 10. The Lakers’ top scorers were Kentavios Caldwell-Pope with 17, and Zach Norvell had 16. The Warriors outscored the Lakers 40-23 in the second period.
The Warriors did not relinquish the lead in the third quarter. The Lakers, however, outscored Golden State by ten and finished the period trailing by six 94-88. The Warriors regrouped. D’Angelo Russell played well and drained a couple of threes. Curry re-entered the game with about six minutes left and made a four-point play to help cement the win. Curry knocked down a three and was fouled on the play. He made the free throw to put the Warriors ahead 113-94. Steph made another three to make it 119-96. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr inserted his bench to finish the game.
Game Notes and Stats: Curry finished the night with 32 points. He made six three in 15 tries. He was on the court for 32 minutes of action. Marquese Chriss had a good night. He had 9 points, 7 boards, and 5 assists. Draymond Green also had 9 points. Green had 12 rebounds and 3 assists. He was on the court for 31 minutes. D’Angelo Russell tallied 29, and he, too, made six threes. Rookie Eric Paschall finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds. Glenn Robinson pitched in with 13 points and six rebounds.
The Lakers had four players in double figures. Caldwell-Pope had 25. Zach Norvell added 29, and he knocked down 5 threes. Rookie Devontae Cacok had a double-double. He recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds. Demetrius Jackson finished with 11 points and 9 assists.
Up Next: The Warriors open the season Thursday, October 24th, at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The LA Clippers will be their opponents. They will be led by Kawhi Leonard. The game will start at 7:30 pm.