The Warriors made more history at Oracle Arena on Tuesday night. They beat the team formerly known as the Los Angeles Lakers, 111-77, and they made it look easy again.
It doesn’t seem that long ago when it was the other way around, when Kobe Bryant and the Lakers were on top. But it’s the Warriors’ world now and everyone else is welcomed to it.
The defending champs never trailed en route to their NBA-record 16th consecutive victory to start the season. They had shared the mark with the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and 1993-94 Houston Rockets.
“It feels great, especially the way we did it,” interim coach Luke Walton said. “During the streak, we had some slippage, had some games that we really didn’t play like ourselves. To actually break the record on a night when we’re sharing the ball and taking care of the bail and turning it over defensively. … So to do it as well as we did tonight makes it even that much more special.”
Nobody looked forward to the record-breaker more than coach Steve Kerr, and nobody was more pained by it at the same time.
Kerr watched every one of the 16 victories from a distance while he recuperated from offseason surgeries on his back. He was in the building as had been the case for much of the streak.
“[Kerr] is handling it as good as he can,” Walton reported. “He’s so happy [for the team]. He’s such a good guy, he really is happy for all the success we’re having right now.
“You know, it’s really hard on him not being here actually on the court and doing what he loves. So that part, obviously, is tough [on him] and he struggles with. But for the overall success, he couldn’t be happier.”
Stephen Curry led the winners with 24 points and nine assists, while Draymond Green contributed 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Bryant looked like a 37-year-old who had barely played the last two seasons. He had numerous open looks at the basket but sank only 1 of 14 field goal attempts. He had six rebounds and two steals, both team highs.
The Warriors left nothing to doubt in this one. They rolled to a 30-11 lead in the first period, as Green set the tone with a dozen points, three rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
The Lakers shot only 24 percent (5 of 21) in the field and were guilty of four turnovers in period. Probably worse, coach Byron Scott’s young team was beaten to loose balls repeatedly. Overall, the Warriors’ reserves outscored the Lakers’ starters by a 42-28 margin.
In other words, the Warriors played a lot like the legendary Show Time teams that Scott was part of decades ago.
Recently asked whether those Lakers would beat these Warriors, Scott stayed true to his old team as expected.
“I wasn’t speculating.” Scott said. “I was asked a question about it and they said, how do I think they would do? What did you guys think I would say? Absolutely. I don’t think they could play the small lineup with Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] and James Worthy and Magic Johnson being able to post up. Like I said, at the end of it, it would be very interesting. I think it would be a fun matchup, but it’s not possible, so why are we even talking about it?”
Now the talk turns to whether the Warriors can win 33 games in a row, a league record that the 1971-72 Lakers set four decades ago.
“We went by and congratulated each player,” Walton said. “They’re in the history books. But we also reminded them that it’s November and we’ve got a lot more work to do.”