It’s been a long time. I mean a long time. I think Sleepy Floyd was playing in fact, since the Golden State Warriors beat the Lakers. And tonight, they didn’t beat the Lakers. They beat the you-know-what out of them. This after losing 12 straight to the two-time defending champs.
And early on, it looked like number 13 would be a foregone conclusion. The Lakers scored the games first 10 points, and led 23-14 at the end of the first quarter. With both teams playing the back-end of a back-to-back, the Lakers decided to rest their regulars. The Warriors decided to take the lead. A 10-run of their own made it 24-23 Golden State, and seemed to awaken the slumbering team and crowd.
The Warriors went into the break with a halftime lead of 43-38 before playing as good of a quarter of basketball against the Lakers since the days of TMC. A 29-17 3rd quarter highlighted by Dorell Wright’s team record-breaking 184th 3-pointer of the season gave the Warriors a 72-55 lead heading into the final quarter.
The lead grew to as many as 19, with Kobe Bryant sitting on the bench for much of the quarter. By the time he checked back in with 6:13 left in the game, he was not only playing the Warriors, but the clock as well. He hit a 3, scored again and drew the foul, made a couple more free throws, and took it to the hole for two more as the lead dwindled down to eight with two minutes to play.
But the lead was too much to overcome this time, and the streak was over as Golden State, behind 22 points, and 17 boards from David Lee beat the Lakers 95-87. The Warriors won their 3rd straight game against playoff teams in winning their 35th of the season, nine more than they had all of last year.
None of them sweeter than tonight’s.
About the Author
Written by Scott Johnston
Scott Johnston is a longtime Sports TV Producer/Writer from Los Angeles who now lives just outside of Boston. After a long career at KCAL-TV in L.A., where Scott covered such things as Kirk Gibson’s HR, Hank Gathers death, and Magic Johnson’s retirement, NBA ll-Star Game MVP performance and subsequent return to the NBA. His favorite team is the Oakland A’s and whomever happens to be playing the Yankees, USC or the Cowboys on that particular day. Scott left his staff position at KCAL and formed his own small production company in 1996 while continuing to freelance there and at other stations, including WTTG in DC for two years. His company, ProTVSports, started out covering one team during Spring Training in 1997 but now covers six of the Cactus League teams. He also covers tennis and golf events during the year and has had the privilege of covering 5 NBA Finals, including two of the last three. Scott loves all sports, but considers baseball to be his favorite. He loves politcs, reading, movies and his wife and two daughters—not in that order!