Short-handed Lakers beat up on Warriors 128-97

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – LeBron James had a triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, leading the injury-depleted Los Angeles Lakers past the Golden State Warriors 128-97 early yesterday.

Montrezl Harrell backed up James’ fourth triple-double of the season by scoring 27 points off the bench on 11-of-14 shooting as the Lakers clinched the season series with Golden State.

Stephen Curry scored 27 points with four three-pointers and became the Warriors’ franchise assists leader a day after his 33rd birthday and in his 12th NBA season.

“We’ve got to get sick of just getting blown out because that’s embarrassing,” Curry said. “We have to have some pride about how we’re playing. You can lose games, that’s going to happen. But not like that.”

With a long list of injuries, the Lakers got another scare when Harrell briefly went down with 7:11 left in the first half. He took an elbow to the face from Warriors rookie centre James Wiseman after his goaltend as he attempted to block a shot and had his elbows high. After a replay review to determine if it was “a hostile act”, Wiseman received a technical foul, not a flagrant.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbling the ball is defended by Kelly Oubre Jr of the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. PHOTO: AFP

Harrell walked off the court on his own. Kyle Kuzma airballed the technical free throw — so, what happened?

“San Francisco had a 3.5-magnitude earthquake and (stuff) started rumbling and I don’t know, I got scared,” he cracked. “And it just went over to the far left.”

Golden State had its home winning streak snapped at four — a day after the Warriors ended a season-worst four-game skid by beating the Jazz 131-119.

But this was another tough beating at the hands of James and Co after Golden State’s 117-91 defeat in Los Angeles on February 28.

“They got 68 points in the paint. That’s unheard of,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

The Lakers had lost their previous two road games, both against Western Conference teams.

“I don’t think we’ll find our true identity until playoffs,” Kuzma said.

Curry’s record-setting pass went to Kelly Oubre Jr for a reverse layup one minute into the third.

“It’s special. It’s kind of a longevity award,” Curry said. “But in terms of playing for the same franchise for 12 years and hopefully a lot longer, there’s been some greats that have come through here for however long. Anytime you’ve done something or reached a level that is the top of the list for a franchise, it’s pretty special. Wish it was under different circumstances obviously, with the game tonight.”

Curry began the night with 4,854 assists, one behind franchise leader Guy Rodgers. They are the only two Warriors to reach 4,000 assists.

“He can make passes with either hand and he gets blitzed so often that a lot of his passes come in traffic and under duress and he does an incredible job of getting the ball out of the traps and finding the right guys,” Kerr said before the game. “I think I said this the other day, but how many passes has he made over the years that have led to Draymond’s (Green) assists?”

Curry hit a three-pointer in his 100th straight game, the third such streak in NBA history and second for the two-time MVP after doing so in 157 straight games from 2014-16. Kyle Korver hit a three in 127 consecutive games from 2012-14 with Atlanta.

Might the Warriors have a home-court advantage before season’s end?

“We’re hopeful we’ll have fans in our building before the end of the season,” Kerr said. “Those talks are ongoing.”