Jordan Clarkson scored 25 points, D’Angelo Russell added 21 and the Los Angeles Lakers stunned the Golden State Warriors 112-95 on Sunday, handing the defending NBA champions just their sixth loss of the season, all on the road.
Kobe Bryant added 12 points in helping the Lakers earn one of the biggest upsets in NBA history and their biggest victory in a downtrodden farewell season for Bryant, who spent the fourth quarter on the bench resting his aching right shoulder.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 18 points on a day when they were awful offensively. Klay Thompson added 15 points, but the Splash Brothers were a combined 1 of 18 from 3-point range. In all, the Warriors missed 26 of 30 attempts from long range.
Draymond Green just missed a triple-double, with nine points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
The Lakers effectively put the game away in the second quarter, when they built a double-digit lead that Golden State threatened just once. Thompson had four points and Andrew Bogut two in a 6-0 run that drew the Warriors to 65-57 early in the third.
That was as close as they got the entire second half.
Clarkson answered with a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around Julius Randle’s dunk and the young Lakers kept on rolling. Brazilian Marcelo Huertas fed Larry Nance Jr. for an alley-oop dunk in the fourth that had the fans exploding in cheers, seemingly exorcising the demons of another losing season for the once-proud franchise with the league’s third-worst record.
The Lakers stretched their lead to 16 points in the third, when both teams scored 24 points apiece. The Warriors scored five straight to trail 84-73 going into the fourth.
Nick Young hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Huertas scored four in a row to keep the Lakers ahead 95-79 in the fourth.
Bryant made it back for his final career game against the Warriors on national TV after sitting out Friday’s loss to Atlanta. Gleeful fans chanted his name in the fourth while he grinned from the bench, clearly delighted that his junior teammates rose to the occasion, with seven players in double figures. The Lakers had lost two straight and 10 of 13 coming in.
The Lakers had their beleaguered fans in a first-half frenzy when they led 60-49 at the break. Russell hit three consecutive 3-pointers, helping the Lakers to a 39-29 lead. The Warriors fought to get back within three before the Lakers closed on a 13-5 run that produced their largest lead of the half.
Kobe on the win: “It’s got to be the socks.”