Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Warriors – Game 39

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The Los Angeles Lakers began their five-game week with a bang, traveling to take on the Golden State Warriors and cruising to a 128-95 victory to improve to 2-0 since the All-Star break.

 

Lakers vs Warriors
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

The Lakers opened up the game with a bang as LeBron James found Damian Jones for a lob, while Markieff Morris drained two of his first three 3-pointer attempts. Although James picked up two questionable fouls and Los Angeles committed five turnovers, they were able to hold onto a slim 12-11 lead.

Stephen Curry carried the Warriors offense as he was able to finish through contact in the paint, but Los Angeles did a good job limiting the rest of their team. The Lakers bench was able to take advantage of some poor Warriors defense and they went into the second up 29-26.

Montrezl Harrell sparked a 7-0 run at the top of the quarter by scoring around the rim, but Nico Mannion kept Golden State close with a pair of threes. However, Harrell continued to dominate on the interior and helped give L.A. a 44-34 lead.

 

Curry came back into the game to help trim the Laker advantage to just six, but Harrell and the rest of the bench were able to fend them off. The Lakers turned it up on both ends in the closing minutes and despite an Andrew Wiggins 3-pointer at the buzzer, they went into the locker room with a comfortable 65-50 lead.

 

Lakers vs Warriors
Photo Credit: TSN

It was another relatively slow start to a half for the Lakers as they struggled a bit on both ends, but maintained their 15-point lead after a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope triple. Caldwell-Pope’s hot shooting continued after hitting another one from distance, putting the Lakers ahead 80-62.

Wiggins tried to inject some life into the Warriors after going on a 5-0 spurt, but Los Angeles’ defense kept them from ever capturing the momentum. The Lakers bench held down the fort once again, and the Purple and Gold went into the final period leading 93-73.

Los Angeles continued to slowly increase their lead as they suffocated the Golden State offense. Meanwhile, the bench was able to get nearly anything they wanted around the basket.

To start the second half, the Pacers worked their lead to a game-high 11, although the Lakers put together multiple solid possessions to cut the gap to just three at 57-54. This included a shot disruption and a dunk for Damian Jones.

James drilled a pair of threes early in the fourth quarter to effectively put the game out of reach, also putting the finishing touches on a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists.

In addition to James, the key force offensively was Harrell, who had one of his best games as a member of the Lakers. He finished with 27 points and five rounds on an impressive 11-of-14 shooting.

 

The Lakers Have Interest In Kings Bigman Hassan Whiteside

 

The Lakers will have some decisions to make over the next couple of weeks as the NBA trade deadline and buyout season approaches. They have already been linked to multiple big men, including Andre Drummond, P.J. Tucker, Hassan Whiteside, and Lamarcus Aldridge.

Of these four options, the most likely is Whiteside. In his seventh full season, Whiteside has gone from an All-NBA Defensive second-team player to a benchwarmer for one of the worst teams in the Western Conference, the Sacramento Kings. It is not entirely his fault, as the Kings have Marvin Bagley III to develop. However, Whiteside is not the player he was two or three years ago.

Even still, the Lakers would reportedly be interested in adding Whiteside if their pursuit of Drummond is unsuccessful, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

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The Lakers take on the NBA’s worst team, the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight.

 

The Lakers will host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. The two teams have played each other twice so far this season, with the Lakers winning both times. Los Angeles won 127-91 at home over Minnesota on December 27th and 112-104 on the road on February 16th.

The Lakers are 26-13 overall and third in the Western Conference. Minnesota is 9-30 and has the worst record in the NBAMinnesota has looked like a brand new team so far since coming out of the All-Star break. After losing nine straight games, Minnesota has defeated New Orleans 135-105, lost to Portland 125-121, and beat the Trail Blazers 114-112 on Sunday.

 

The tip-off at Staples Center is scheduled for 7:30 pm and can be seen on Spectrum SportsNet.

 

 

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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

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