Norcal Hosts Socal Tonight: Lakers vs. Warriors Preview
It’s been almost four years since the Golden State Warriors beat the Lakers in Los Angeles. Without talented guard Stephen Curry, their chances of ending that drought could be slimmer.
A nagging ankle injury could keep one of the Warriors’ top scorers on the bench when they look to avoid a seventh consecutive road loss to the Lakers on Friday night.
That is already saying something in the Norcal vs. Socal lineup…The Lakers star guard has ligament problems all over his shooting hand and continues to battle through, while the Warriors guard has a hurt ankle and will not suit up. No team can succeed without toughness in this league.
Golden State (2-4) fell 101-95 at San Antonio on Wednesday, its third straight defeat. The Warriors biggest loss, however, might have come when Curry re-aggravated his sprained left ankle in the second half. The team’s third-leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, Curry had 20, shot 7 of 11 and added eight assists in 30 minutes before leaving.
Can they win without Curry? I don’t think so.
Though the Warriors signed diminutive veteran Nate Robinson this week to provide depth at guard, Curry’s backcourt mate Monta Ellis likely will carry the scoring load as Golden State tries to beat the Lakers (4-4) at Staples Center for the first time since a 115-111 win March 23, 2008.
The Warriors have lost six straight road games to the Lakers since then, and 31 of the last 34 meetings between these teams in Los Angeles.
Ellis has combined for 64 points in the Warriors’ last two games against the Lakers — both at home. However, he had just five while shooting 2 of 10 before leaving with a hip injury in a 117-98 loss at Los Angeles on Nov. 21, 2010, Golden State’s last visit. Ellis had averaged 25.0 points and gone 42 of 84 from the field in his previous four games there.
The Warriors will also need a solid contribution from David Lee, who posted 13 points and 10 boards against the Spurs after missing Monday’s 102-91 loss at Phoenix with food poisoning. Lee had 22 points and 17 rebounds in a 95-87 home win over Los Angeles on April 6 that snapped Golden State’s 12-game overall skid against the Lakers.
Los Angeles has won four straight at home since opening with an 88-87 loss to Chicago at Staples Center on Christmas, but will try to bounce back from Thursday’s 107-96 loss at Western Conference-leading Portland.
The biggest difference in this game could be at the three point line. Los Angeles is shooting just 22.8 percent from beyond the arc this season — third-worst in the NBA. The Warriors on the other hand have great shooters across their starting line.
Despite his injured wrist, Bryant has totaled 67 points in the last two games. He’s averaged 26.8 points during his career against the Warriors.
Bynum has averaged 22.3 points and 15.8 boards in four games since opening the season by serving a four-game suspension stemming from the 2011 playoffs.
The Lakers are trying to avoid their first losing record through nine games since 2005-06, when they opened 4-5.
Without Curry, watch the Lakers run over the Warriors in the fourth quarter. To find out who’s got the upper hand in the NBA, norcal or socal? Find out tonight…