Steph Curry

What we learned as Steph, Wiggs fuel Warriors' win over Lakers

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SAN FRANCISCO – Stephen Curry reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out another memorable performance, scoring 25 of his 32 points in the first half while becoming the first player in franchise history to reach 6,000 career assists, helping lead the Warriors a pivotal 128-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday at Chase Center.

It was the 23rd time this season that Curry has reached the 30-point plateau. Already the best shooter in NBA history, Curry added to his Hall of Fame resume with six 3-pointers to go with eight assists.

Curry also became the eighth player in NBA history with at least 23,000 points and 6,000 assists. He joined an elite list that includes LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and John Havlicek.

More importantly, Golden State continued its surge up the Western Conference standings. With nine wins in their last 11 games, Warriors (28-26) moved within one-half game of the Lakers (30-27) for the No. 9 seed.

It helped that the Lakers were without James, who was sitting out with a sore ankle.

Not that it seemed to matter much.

Golden State pretty much controlled the whole game, taking a slim lead in the first quarter then slowly expanding it as the game went on.

Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points, Trayce-Jackson Davis had 17 points and five rebounds, while Draymond Green tallied eight points to go with seven rebounds and five assists. Green also had a block and needs two more to become the third Warriors player to have 800 or more career blocks.

As a team, Golden State dished out 32 assists, the seventh consecutive game they have had 30 or more dimes in a game, their longest streak since a seven-game stretch during the 2017-18 season.

Unlike the previous two games when they had trouble closing out, the Warriors kept their foot on the gas pedal against the Lakers and won comfortably in their first game in a week.

The Warriors won’t have much time to soak this one in as they play the Charlotte Hornets at Chase Center on Friday, then have an off day Saturday before hosting the Denver Nuggets on Sunday afternoon.

Here are the takeaways from Wednesday’s game:

TJD provides boost off bench

Jackson-Davis had been playing sparingly over the previous four weeks, primarily because of match-up issues. Coach Steve Kerr opted to use him extensively against the Lakers and the Warriors rookie responded with a solid effort.

After being held out for the entire first quarter, Jackson-Davis came off the bench and made an immediate impact, aggressively attacking every time he touched the ball. His first six shots came inside the key near the rim while helping establish Golden State’s presence inside.

Dario Saric had been taking most of the back-up center minutes but Kerr opted to use the more versatile and athletic Jackson-Davis, who was crisp almost all night. He shot 8 of 10 from the floor and finished.

The lanky Jackson-Davis brought the Chase Center crowd to its feet with a two-handed stuff in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors are thriving with Green at center but have had some issues when he’s getting a rest. Jackson-Davis has proven he can be a factor when that happens but he has to do it on a more consistent basis in order to continue being a big part of the rotations.

Going Green

There’s no denying that the Warriors flipped the script on the season when Green returned from his second NBA suspension. He’s been the team’s anchor on defense and is a primary reason why Golden State has been playing significantly better on that end since he came back.

Green, who has been one of the team’s better 3-point shooters since returning, has also been a connector on offense.

Though he took just five shots, Green kept things rolling as a facilitator. The game against the Lakers marked the 11th time in his past 13 games that Green has had five or more assists.

Not surprisingly, Green finished as a plus-19. As long as he continues to do all the little things, it really won’t matter much how many points he scores.

Defending the LeBron-less Lakers

Even with James not playing, the Lakers were able to do a lot of damage down low, scoring 58 points in the paint, offsetting their 10 of 25 shooting beyond the arc. The Warriors also put up 58 points in the paint.

Taurean Prince, who started in place of James, was mostly silent with 12 points and three rebounds.

The Warriors haven’t had a lot of success against short-handed teams and things might have gone differently had James played. But at this stage of the season, Golden State needs every edge it can take.

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