Never mind the 26 point lead almost blown or the fact the Lakers were without two of their best post players this win is up there with the satisfaction of the Dallas series and the game in Portland that paved the way for a playoff appearance. Never mind the loss to Houston tonight the Warriors came into the staples Center intent on making a statement. Only when the Lakers try to even the score tonight will they be riding high
Defintion of clutch
1st quarter The Warriors came out strong and pushed the tempo surprising the Lakers in the proccess. Fortunately the undeniable MVP Kobe Bryant was nowhere to be found as Monta Ellis hit aome off balance jumpers and impressive degree of difficulty layups. Golden State knew where they had to be on offense and it worked. With excellent defense by Jackson on Kobe, their role players tried to impersonate Kobe and it worked as Fisher reminded fans of his Warriors days chucking up shot after shot which backfired. Golden State led 31-30 at the end of the quarter.
Second quarter I would make an arguement this was the Warriors quarter of the season. They scored 38 points because the Lakers tried to match the tempo and they can't since they are a halfcourt team therfore ignoring the Triangle Offense which led to missed assignments or the Turnovers meant the Warriors could score at a faster pace meaning our shooters thrived. The Lakers missed 3 shots in a row and went into the Locker room with a demoralizing 72-49 deficit
Third Quarter As soon as the lakers reimbursed from the locker room they were a different team. Kobe and Monta exchanged points but the rest of the Warriors fell asleep and the Lakers came charging back because Phil Jackson slowed down forcing the Warriors to do so. Fisher had some heroic shots (the most fustrating bit was he didn't do anything like that for us)and the Warriors were content to settle and decide it in the 4th. Yet with this team you take the good with the bad which for diehard fans can take years of your life!.
4th Quarter: Nellie bought in Wright to start the 4th but apart from a gorgeous block on Kobe with Baron still struggling and Jackson not hitting a shot in the second half the Fakers tied the game with 5 minutes remaining and took the lead a minute later. What started as a beautiful beginning hearing the loud boos of the Staples Center evaporated. Nellie took a timeout and suddenly what he said to them in the huddle bought them back to life. Davis hit a layup over Farmer to tie the game. Then with 38 seconds left and the Warriors up by 1 Jackson hit an ice cold shot to give them a 4 point lead. Kobe comes right back and with 20 seconds left drains an impossible 3 to cut the lead to 1. Now worries Jackson takes the longest 3 of his life and HITS THE 3! Waaaaaay downtown. The Lakers are finished with Kobe rimming out a 3. The curse was broken!
Toughness Credit to Harrington and Biedrins for fighint hard down low going for loose balls and generally making life difficult for Turiaf and Odom. With Bynum in there that doesn't do much good but tonight that hustle barely squeaked us by. Wright also made a impact off the bench with his hustle, defense work on the glass, and shot-blocking making an impact. If we are lucky enough to make the playoffs any minute he gives shows he's solid enough to make a contribution
Azubuike He may not earn the headlines but his job on kobe was better then the suppossed Kobe stopper. Always staying in front of him he also did the little things such as crashing the boards, going to the rim on offense, and generally did everything you could have asked of him. It is becoming clear that to beat teams such as the Fakers you need a contribution from the bench whether it is Kelenna, Wright, Croshere, or Barnes. Fortunately Azubuike delivered.
Like all Hollywood movies there's a sequel in the making. Tonight at the Roaracle when these two meet up again this will be the most anticipated game of the season bar the Jazz opener. No point explaning how significant this game is espcially with the West open. Just ask Captain Jack