OAKLAND -- Maybe they lost some of the edge when it was announced two hours before tipoff that Lakers superstar LeBron James would not play.
But the Warriors gave their fans a scare Saturday night before turning up the heat and dispatching the Lakers 115-101 at Oracle Arena.
There was plenty of good and bad, so let’s get to it. Here are some of the positives and negatives:
Mr. Iguodala burns Lakers, again
After a pedestrian first half -- 6 points, two rebounds, two assists -- Andre Iguodala spent the second half dissecting the Lakers into tiny pieces of defeat. He made big shots, made effective passes, got a big steal. In 14 second-half minutes, he was plus-24. For the game, he registered 17 points (7-of-9 from the field, 3-of-4 from deep), four assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block.
Andre gives JaVale his ring then puts him on a poster 😲— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 3, 2019
In three games against LA this season, he has come off the bench to compile 46 points (19-of-24 from the field, 6-of-9 from deep), 11 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and two blocks.
Iguodala has become a menace to LA, and that will come in handy should these teams meet in the postseason.
Way too soft on the glass
Standing around. Watching the ball. Failing to put a body on a Laker. The Warriors were downright passive at times with their defensive rebounding. LA exploited this to gather 13 offensive rebounds and, moreover, post a 21-4 advantage in second-chance points.
Put simply, this was a big factor in keeping the inferior Lakers in the game.
Mr. Green gets it done, again
Draymond Green has practically surrendered attempts to score, which is fine, because he is destroying teams with his passing. He had seven assists and was the only starter without a turnover. Over his last 11 games: 99 assists, 16 turnovers.
Another night of setting up his teammates without taking crazy risks. Green’s 6.2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio defies the laws of basketball.
Soft in the middle
That the Lakers are no offensive juggernaut, which is particularly obvious when James isn’t available. Yet they shot 57.8 percent over the second and third quarters. Brandon Ingram (10 points, 4-of-5 from the field) was unstoppable in the second, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (12 points, 5-of-6) in the third.
What happened? The Warriors showed signs of defensive complacency and LA seized the opportunity.
Great beginning and ending
As sorry as the defense was in the second and third quarters, it was solid in the first (LA was 11-of-31 from the field) and spectacular in the fourth (LA was 5-of-20). The Warriors opened the fourth up by two and pushed the lead as high as 18.
The Warriors clearly wanted to make a statement early and they were desperate to avoid the indignity of blowing a lead to this bunch.
Mr. Curry’s first 27 minutes
Stephen Curry, perhaps the best shooter in NBA history, could not throw a pea into the sea through the first three quarters. He was 0-of-8, his worst three-quarter start since Oct. 31, 2012 at Phoenix.
The stunned crowd was acutely aware of what was going on. It was an odd sight.
Mr. Curry’s sizzling final four minutes
Curry’s first bucket came with 6:20 remaining, an uncontested layup that was cheered as if it were a 35-footer. Forty seconds later, a 3-point bomb, followed by another 19 seconds after that. He left with 2:08 to play after scoring 12 points in the quarter on 5-of-7 shooting, 2-of-4 from deep.
Steph dancing is a thing of beauty 👀— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 3, 2019
There was no way Curry was going to stay cold and go without a field goal. Right?