LOS ANGELES – The Warriors walked into Staples Center on Monday determined to get a few pounds of the Los Angeles Lakers' flesh. They pretty much got all of it.
Behind a 44-point night by Klay Thompson, the Warriors rolled to a 130-111 victory that avenged the 26-point drubbing they took at the hands of the Lakers on Christmas Day.
The Warriors (33-14) led by as much as 36. It was their eighth consecutive win, and also their seventh in a row on the road.
Los Angeles (25-23) was playing without its top three playmakers: LeBron James, Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo. All three are out of the lineup with injuries.
Here are three takeaways from a game that concluded a road sweep of the LA teams.
Klay’s fireworks display: Thompson found his rhythm early and never lost it. It was one of those nights that come out of nowhere several times each season, when neither distance nor defender matter to the 6-foot-7 guard.
Thompson scored 44 points in 27 minutes. He was 17-of-20 the field. He was 10-of-11 from beyond the arc. He made his first 10 before missing one late in the third quarter.
With 23 third-quarter points, Thompson fell two short of LA’s total of 25 in the quarter.
Thompson’s scorching night pushed his career 3-pointers total to 1,693, zooming him past one Hall of Famer (Steve Nash, 1,685) and another future Hall of Famer (LeBron James, 1,684) on the all-time list for 3-pointers.
History has shown that when Thompson is shooting like this there isn’t much an opponent can do, except hope he doesn’t light it up in the next meeting.
Boogie’s Night: Even though his conditioning is not where it will be in a couple weeks, DeMarcus Cousins is finding ways to make an impact, and not just by scoring.
Sure, he put in eight points on 2-of-9 shooting. Grabbed nine rebounds, passed for five assists. He played 21 minutes and finished plus-24.
But his non-scoring work stood out. He drew a charge in the first quarter, his second in two games. Cousins also picked his first floor burn of the season early in the second quarter, pursuing a loose ball, controlling it and flipping to Thompson for a 3-pointer.
There has been a perception, perhaps from his days in Sacramento, that Cousins doesn’t rate particularly high on the hustle scale.
Two games into his Warriors career, there is no sign of such an issue.
Passing like it’s hot: The Warriors registered 41 assists, a season high and their first 40-assist game of the season.
Moreover, they did it while committing only 12 turnovers.
Every starter had at least four assists except Thompson, who had an excellent excuse. Stephen Curry accounted for a game-high 12 – without a single turnover – and Draymond Green had seven.
The Warriors used 12 different players and all of them scored, with only three reaching double figures. Kevin Durant had 20 and Stephen Curry had 11.