Kobe-less Lakers continue on against Golden State

6:23 PM, Dec 21, 2013   |    comments
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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers began the latest post Kobe Bryant era with a win and hope to continue the momentum Saturday night when they visit the Golden State Warriors.

Bryant hyperextended his left knee in the third quarter of Los Angeles' last game Tuesday, but finished the tilt in the Lakers' 96-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Bryant was diagnosed with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee and is likely out six weeks.

Bryant made his season debut on Dec. 8 after missing nearly eight months while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.

On Friday, the Lakers topped the Minnesota Timberwolves, 104-91 for their second consecutive victory.

"We've got guys playing well," Pau Gasol said. "We're not done. There's a lot of season left."

Gasol netted nine of his 21 points during a critical run to close the game and also grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out eight assists. Nick Young was Los Angeles' leading scorer with 25 off the bench and Xavier Henry, who started at point guard due to so many injuries, also had 21.

The Lakers signed Kendall Marshall from the D-League, but he didn't play on Friday.

Jodie Meeks finished with 17.

The Lakers visit Phoenix on Monday, then host the two-time defending champion Miami Heat on Christmas.

Golden State has lost three of four games and five of its last eight, including Thursday's 104-102 setback to the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs were without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, but they did enough to topple the Warriors on their own floor.

Spurs center Tiago Splitter put back a Boris Diaw miss with 2.1 seconds left, while Warriors guard Steph Curry missed on an ensuing 3-point attempt. Curry finished with 30 points on 6-of-16 shooting from deep and added 15 assists in the setback. David Lee contributed a double-double with 32 points and 13 rebounds, while Andrew Bogut had eight points and 18 boards for Golden State, which is 1-1 on a three-game homestand and 8-4 in Oakland.

San Antonio scored 31 points off 19 Golden State turnovers and held the hosts to just 25.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc (8-of-31).

"We were careless and that gave them life. Twenty-four turnovers and 31 points off of turnovers -- (it's) tough to win ballgames that way. That's not what championship-caliber teams do," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson.

Curry has scored at least 20 points in 12 straight games, the longest active streak in the league. Lee, meanwhile, has posted a double-double in seven straight games.

The Warriors and Lakers have split a pair of meetings already this season and will meet again April 11 in Hollywood. The Lakers have won eight of 10 and 20 of the past 23 meetings between the teams. They've also prevailed in nine of the last 12 contests in Oakland.

The Sports Network

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