SAN DIEGO – The Warriors started their penultimate preseason game well enough, raining buckets down upon the Lakers and needing less than four minutes to build a 17-4 lead.
Neither Warriors coach Steve Kerr nor the players can be content with the events of the final 44 minutes despite walking away with 123-112 win before a bipartisan sellout crowd Wednesday night at Valley View Casino Center.
The victory was the fifth in a row for the Warriors, with their only loss coming in the preseason opener back on Oct. 1.
Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by Stephen Curry, who poured in a preseason-high 32 points. Kevin Durant put in 27 points and Klay Thompson tossed in 19. Draymond Green added 10 and Kevon Looney totaled 10 off the bench.
The Warriors starters outscored those of the Lakers 92-59, but LA fought back by wining the battle of the benches, outscoring the Warriors 53-31.
Curry and Thompson, as a tandem, submitted their best work of the preseason.
Curry’s line: 32 points (11-of-19 shooting from the field, including 6-of-12 beyond the arc), five assists, five rebounds and three steals. He played 31 minutes and finished plus-16 for the game.
Thompson’s line: 19 points (6-of-11, 3-of-6), eight assists, two rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. He played 32 minutes and finished plus-19.
Eight assists, for the record, are more than Thompson had in five previous preseason games (six).
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
The bench: Coach Steve Kerr opened the second quarter with a second-unit lineup featuring Andre Iguodala, David West, Kevon Looney, Shaun Livingston and Ian Clark. It did not go as well as the coach had hoped. The quintet went nearly three minutes without a field goal before Kerr replaced Looney with Durant.
Warriors: F Anderson Varejao (R shoulder contusion) was listed as questionable and did not play. C Damian Jones (R pectoral surgery) and G Elliot Williams (R knee surgery) were listed as out.
Lakers: F Luol Deng (rest) did not play. G Jose Calderon (L calf strain) was listed as out.
After an off day Thursday, the Warriors return to work Friday morning for a shootaround prior to facing the Portland Trail Blazers that night at Oracle Arena.