The Los Angeles Lakers stayed on top of the Western Conference with a 120-94 win over the visiting Golden State Warriors on Wednesday at Staples Center.
Los Angeles was without Anthony Davis, who sat with shoulder and rib injuries. The Lakers cruised to a win, however, as they opened up a 38-26 advantage after the first quarter and led by double digits for the entire second half.
LeBron James led the way with 23 points and 12 assists for the Lakers, who shot 53.9 percent from the field and made nine of their 20 three-point attempts.
The 9-2 Lakers have won nine of their last 10, which includes a seven-game win streak. They are enjoying their best start since the 2010-11 season.
The 2-10 Warriors have lost five straight, marking their worst 12-game start in 20 years.
Lakers G/F LeBron James: 23 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds
Lakers F Kyle Kuzma: 22 points
Lakers C JaVale McGee: 18 points, 17 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 steals
Warriors G D'Angelo Russell: 21 points, 8 assists
Warriors F/C Draymond Green: 10 points, 5 assists
Warriors F Eric Paschall: 15 points
Lakers' Big Men Steal the Show in L.A.
The Lakers couldn't have enjoyed a much better night.
James led the team in scoring and assists as he slowly builds his case for a fifth MVP trophy.
Kyle Kuzma, who missed the beginning of the campaign with a left ankle injury, scored 20-plus points for the second straight night as he puts his early-season slump in the rearview mirror.
And the fans got tacos from Jack in the Box after the Lakers held the Warriors to double digits.
The most pleasant surprise of the evening, however, may have come via centers JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard.
The matchup Wednesday was in their favor as they faced a smaller Warriors frontcourt, but McGee and Howard took advantage of their opportunities to help L.A. coast to an easy win sans Davis.
McGee had 18 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks and three steals in just 28 minutes, capped by this ferocious slam:
The big man had 14 points and 12 rebounds in the first half alone, helping the Lakers open a 12-point halftime lead.
As for Howard, all he did was post 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists in just 20 minutes. Like McGee, he dominated in the paint with a few ferocious dunks:
Howard, a 56.6 percent career free-throw shooter, even enjoyed a nice night at the charity stripe by making five of his six attempts.
Chris Geeter McGee of Spectrum Sportsnet summed up McGee and Howard's evenings well:
The table was set for them to excel, but they were up to the task while helping the Lakers join the Boston Celtics as the only two NBA teams with nine wins.
The Lakers will play the second game of a four-game homestand against the Sacramento Kings on Friday at 10:30 p.m. The Kings have won four of five after starting 0-5.
The slate doesn't get any easier for the Warriors, as they'll host the 9-1 Celtics on Friday at 10:30 p.m. The C's have won nine straight and own the NBA's best record.