LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pau Gasol had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Nick Young scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, and the Los Angeles Lakers took advantage of Stephen Curry’s absence for a 102-95 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake scored 14 points apiece for the Lakers, who returned from four days off to win consecutive games for the first time all season.
David Lee had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Harrison Barnes scored 20 points in the Warriors’ second straight loss without Curry, who missed both games with a concussion.
Andre Iguodala, who replaced Curry as the Warriors’ point guard, had six points and six assists before limping to the locker room in the third quarter with a strained left hamstring.
Klay Thompson scored just two of his 19 points in the fourth quarter for Golden State, which struggled to find an offensive flow in Curry’s absence. The Lakers calmly maintained a big lead throughout the fourth quarter of their 11th straight home win over their upstate rivals since March 2008.
Jordan Hill added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, while Gasol had a big offensive game at a particularly opportune time. The Spanish 7-footer pledged $1,000 for every point he scored against the Warriors to UNICEF disaster relief in the Philippines.
Barnes made his third start of the season in Curry’s absence, with Iguodala moving over to be Golden State’s offensive playmaker. Andrew Bogut added 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Curry banged his head on the court Monday at Utah, forcing him out of Wednesday’s game against Memphis and this contest. The fifth-year star is averaging nearly 20 points per game and is fourth in the NBA in assists, forcing Golden State to make significant changes to its offense in the absence of his playmaking and 3-point shooting.
The Lakers know all about injury absences: Kobe Bryant still hasn’t played since tearing his Achilles tendon during Golden State’s last visit to Staples Center in April, while Steve Nash is out for at least another week with nerve root irritation.
While Bryant returned to practice with his teammates this week, he wasn’t quite ready to begin his 18th NBA season against the team he was facing when his 17th season ended. The Lakers host Sacramento on Sunday night before heading out on a three-game East Coast road trip.
While Young’s second-half offensive burst propelled his team, the Lakers also had one of their better defensive games of the young season, holding the prolific Warriors well under the 103.8 points-per-game average put up by Los Angeles’ opponents so far this season.
The Lakers took their first lead on Farmar’s 3-pointer right before the first-quarter buzzer, and they stretched the advantage to 55-46 at halftime with a late 13-5 run. Gasol was effective inside and out while scoring 16 points, and Blake hit two of the Lakers’ five 3-pointers.
Los Angeles then scored the final 12 points of the third quarter after Golden State tied it, with Young hitting a pirouette 3-pointer to cap the rally. The Lakers held the Warriors without a point for more than five minutes, eventually going up 80-65 early in the fourth.
NOTES: Lakers C Chris Kaman sat out with a sore back. Warriors C Jermaine O’Neal sat out with a bruised knee. ... Serbian rookie Nemanja Nedovic got a bit of playing time in the first half with Curry sidelined, but committed two fouls in his first 17 seconds in the game. ... Former Minneapolis Lakers forward Vern Mikkelsen died Thursday at 85. Mikkelsen’s name tops a banner at Staples Center honoring Hall of Fame members from the franchise’s years in Minnesota.