LOS ANGELES — Klay Thompson scored 25 points and backcourt-mate Stephen Curry added 20, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 120-105 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
Kobe Bryant, playing his first game at Staples Center since Dec. 10, 2013, scored 15 points in 23 minutes before sitting out the fourth quarter. The two-time scoring champion appeared in only six games last season because of a ruptured Achilles tear and a fracture in his left knee.
Coach Byron Scott rested 40-year-old point guard Steve Nash. The two-time MVP was limited to 15 games last season due to nerve-root irritation in his left leg. Newcomer Jeremy Lin started in Nash's place, finishing with 14 points and four assists. Carlos Boozer had a team-high 16 points.
Scott said before the game that he and his staff will eventually map out a schedule for Nash in back-to-back scenarios. The Lakers have 16 sets of back-to-back games on their schedule, the fewest in the league.
Thompson powered Golden State to a 62-44 halftime lead with 20 points on 7-for-8 shooting and was 4 for 4 from 3-point range. He made his first three shots, all from behind the arc during the first 3:27. The Warriors attempted 20 free throws in the first quarter and made 13, but didn't get to the line again until Andre Iguodala converted one of two with 36 seconds left in the half.
Bryant stole the ball from Curry and converted it into a breakaway dunk, then intercepted a pass by Andrew Bogut to set up a breakaway layup by Lin 13 seconds later. That trimmed Golden State's lead to 30-21 with 2:40 left in the first, but the Warriors pulled away with a 14-2 run during the final 3 1/2 minutes of the half and held a 96-75 lead after three quarters.
Due to the new NBA rules limiting the number of still photographers on the baselines in an effort to improve player safety, the Laker Girls no longer are allowed to sit on the floor at both ends of the court during the game. The rules were enforced less than a month after Indiana's Paul George broke his leg crashing into the stanchion under the basket during a USA Basketball exhibition game. The league had planned to establish “escape lanes” on both sides of the basket long before George's mishap.