Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Postgame Grades and Analysis
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Pau Gasol posted 24 points and 10 rebounds, Nick Young had 21 points off the bench and the Los Angeles Lakers used a 15-0 run in the second half to down the Golden State Warriors, 102-95, on Friday night.

Stephen Curry sat this one out with a concussion, and his presence was sorely missed.

The Warriors shot 42 percent from the floor as the Lakers were able to ferociously defend without the threat of Curry spotting up from beyond the arc.

Los Angeles shot 48 percent, hitting on 11 of its 24 three-point tries.

David Lee led the Dubs with 21 points and 13 boards.

 

Key Players

Los Angeles Lakers

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Pau Gasol, Center

Pau Gasol had what was probably his best game of the season tonight.

The Spaniard was simply phenomenal offensively, utilizing his footwork in the post to score easy buckets inside and setting up his defender with the threat of his his mid-range jumper.

Gasol even got a little fancy with the basketball.

Pau ended up with 24 points off 11-of-19 shooting. How many times has he shot that well this year? Not many. Gasol also hauled in 10 boards and was even a presence around the rim defensively, altering some shots in the paint.

If Gasol can keep channeling the player he was in 2010, maybe the Lakers will have a shot at making the playoffs with a healthy Kobe Bryant

Grade: A+

 

Jordan Hill, Power Forward

Jordan Hill didn't have one of the dominant nights on the glass we have become so used to, but he was still effective before fouling out in 30 minutes of action.

Hill tallied eight points and nine rebounds and played some fine post defense on David Lee.

He shot 4-of-9 from the floor and even dished out three assists.

Not a standout night for the Arizona product, but a solid one, nonetheless.

Grade: B

 

Steve Blake, Point Guard

This was a decent performance by Steve Blake.

No, he didn't record double-digit assists again, but he did do a fine job of controlling the offense and the pace of the game.

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The scrappy veteran recorded 14 points and five dimes and actually played some nice defense on the much larger Andre Iguodala.

Still, for as solid as his stat line may look, Blake registered a minus-14 plus-minus. Now I don't think that is a be-all-end-all stat by any means, but when you post a minus-14 in a seven-point win and during a game that you led by double digits for a good portion of the second half, it's never a good thing.

Grade: B-

 

Jodie Meeks, Shooting Guard

Jodie Meeks did can a huge triple late in the fourth quarter that essentially served as the dagger, but this wasn't a spectacular outing by the guard at all.

Meeks shot 3-of-10 from the floor, scoring only eight points and not contributing much else in 28 minutes of action.

While Meeks has certainly shown some growth this season and has definitely improved as a player, he still has too many nights where he is non-existent.

The fact that Meeks is still L.A.'s top scorer is mind-boggling to me.

The Villanova product also finished with a minus-11.

Grade: D+

 

Wesley Johnson, Small Forward

Wesley Johnson had a nice alley-oop slam in the first quarter, but that was about the extent of his evening.

The lanky wing ended with two points and three rebounds in 23 minutes, shooting 1-of-4 from the floor.

There really isn't much else to add, as he didn't play much of a role in the Lakers' win on Friday night.

Grade: D+

 

Nick Young, Sixth Man

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

What a night for Nick Young.

He was the impetus behind L.A.'s 15-0 run in the second half, and he finished with 21 points off 7-of-15 shooting, including a few shots that only Nick Young would take (and make).

Young hit some huge treys in this one, going 3-of-7 from distance. He also had a gigantic three-point play in the fourth quarter that helped build the Laker lead.

The man known as Swaggy P also went 4-of-5 from the stripe and did not commit a single turnover in 31 minutes.

Hats off to Young.

Grade: A

 

Bench

Jordan Farmar was truly awesome in this one. The backup floor general posted 14 points and eight assists, doing an outstanding job of pushing the ball in transition and setting up his teammates with pinpoint passes.

Farmar also shot an efficient 6-of-9 from the floor and connected on two of his four attempts from deep.

As for the rest of the pine, Shawne Williams scored six points off a couple of threes and grabbed four rebounds, and Xavier Henry contributed three points on 1-of-5 shooting.

Thanks to Farmar, the L.A. pine gets high marks.

Grade: A-

 

Golden State Warriors

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Klay Thompson, Shooting Guard

Klay Thompson struggled quite a bit in this contest.

While the 2-guard shot 4-of-10 from three-point range, he shot a paltry 6-of-20 overall, meaning he made just two of his 10 two-point shot attempts.

To highlight just how off Thompson was, he even missed two free throws on one trip, and he missed the second one pretty badly.

Thompson is a darn good player, but he clearly benefits from having Curry playing alongside of him. He just didn't get the looks in this game that he generally receives when Steph is on the floor.

Thompson finished with 19 points and three rebounds in 41 minutes.

Grade: C

 

Andre Iguodala, Point Guard

This game wasn't very kind to Andre Iguodala.

Starting at point guard in place of the injured Curry, Iguodala put up a stat line of six points, six assists and six turnovers. Those six giveaways weren't even the worst part of the evening, though.

Iggy straining his hamstring in the third quarter was.

Let's hope Andre is alright.

Grade: C-

 

David Lee, Power Forward

David Lee was one of the few bright spots for the Warriors in this game.

The big man registered 21 points and 13 rebounds, and while his 7-of-17 clip could have been better, you had to appreciate the effort he showed out there.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Also, remember a few years ago when people thought that Lee didn't have much of an offensive game outside of scoring garbage points and hitting the occasional jumper? Well, that is just not the case. Not anymore, at least.

Lee is very adept at finishing with both hands around the basket, and he clearly has a very good idea of what to do with the ball in the low post.

Plus, he is a very good passer, and the four assists he dropped in this loss are concrete evidence of that.

The five turnovers he recorded cost him an A, though.

Grade: B+

 

Andrew Bogut, Center

Like his frontcourt partner, Andrew Bogut had himself a nice game, as well.

The Aussie posted a double-double of his own with 12 points and 13 boards, shooting 5-of-9 from the floor in the process.

He also did a great job of running the floor, even playing the role of point man on occasion. Yes; that's right. Bogut led a couple of fast breaks in this one.

It's a shame he has not been able to stay healthy throughout his career, because he really is a fine all-around player.

The 7-footer's passing ability was also on full display against the Lakers, as he tallied five assists in 32 minutes.

Grade: A-

 

Harrison Barnes, Small Forward

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Harrison Barnes continued his strong, efficient play against Los Angeles, shooting 9-of-13 from the field en route to 20 points.

Barnes was one of the only Warriors to shoot the ball well, and he was one of the main reasons why Golden State remained in the game for as long as it did.

You have to like how Barnes was able to get good shots even without the presence of Curry. It would have been nice to see him get to the free-throw line, though.

The youngster added four rebounds and three dimes to his stat sheet.

Grade: A-

 

Draymond Green, Sixth Man

Draymond Green had a good first quarter, scoring all five of his points and helping the Warriors space the floor by knocking down a triple. He was then invisible in the second and third periods, and didn't show up again until the game was virtually decided, scoring seven points in garbage time.

The normally sound defender struggled to stay with his man on the perimeter and had a costly turnover in the fourth quarter where he threw the ball directly to Nick Young, which led to a three-point play on the other end.

The Michigan State product finished with 12 points and four rebounds while shooting 4-of-5 from the floor, but trust me: He wasn't as solid as his numbers indicate.

Grade: B-

 

Bench

Let's face facts here. As good as the Warriors are, they are going to dearly miss Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry this year.

Golden State's bench was nothing short of terrible on Friday night, with Marreese Speights, Kent Bazemore and Nemanja Nedovic going a combined 2-of-14 from the floor.

Of course, both Jermaine O'Neal and Toney Douglas were out with injuries, but Speights is supposed to be one of their better bench guys. Going 1-for-8 in 10 minutes isn't going to cut it.

I rarely give failing grades, but the Dubs' pine was really that bad against L.A.

Grade: F

 

What's Next for the Lakers

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With their next four opponents below .500, the Lakers really have an opportunity to string together a nice win streak here.

Also, we all know what is looming: the return of Kobe Bryant.

When will it happen? On Sunday against the Sacramento Kings? Will he wait until the team comes back home on Tuesday against the Washington Wizards? Will it happen this month at all?

The anticipation is killing all of us, Kobe.

Seriously though, if Gasol can keep playing this well, L.A. has a shot at making a run at the playoffs if Bryant comes back healthy.

 

What's Next for the Warriors

Well, hopefully they'll get Curry back on Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers, because it is crystal clear that they desperately need him on the floor.

The Warriors have lost both games Curry has sat out with his concussion, and the entire offense has struggled without him.

With games at New Orleans, Dallas and Oklahoma City following Saturday's home contest against the Blazers, Golden State better hope Curry is feeling better soon.

Not only that, but the Dubs need to hope that Iguodala's injury is nothing serious.

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