SAN FRANCISCO (95.7 The Game) -- The first round between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers ended in a technical knockout, and it wasn’t the two-time defending champs who had their hands raised after the fight.
Despite LeBron James missing most of the second half and the Warriors cutting their 15-point halftime deficit to two with a 14-1 run after LeBron strained his groin, the Lakers delivered a 127-101 knockout at Oracle Arena on Christmas Day.
It was the Warriors' fourth home loss of the season, and in each of those losses — to Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Toronto, and the Lakers — they’ve been blown out by at least 20.
The Warriors, from Klay Thompson to Draymond Green to Stephen Curry, couldn’t buy a shot. They shot 25 percent (9-for-36) from distance and 40.9 percent (38-for-93) from the field.
Andre Iguodala, who scored a team-high 23 points while adding five rebounds and four assists, discussed being on the wrong end of the eye-popping blowouts at home.
No one should be worried about Warriors, but there should be concern about Thompson's and Green’s shooting.
Let’s start with Thompson, who’s shooting 30 percent this month from the 3-point line. In his past five games, Thompson is shooting 18 percent from beyond the arc. On the season, he’s shooting 33 percent.
Tuesday night was no better for the four-time All-Star as he hit two of his seven shots for a quiet five points. Kevin Durant touched on Thompson’s shooting struggles afterward:
Green, who is known for his defense, is struggling mightily with his shot. After back-to-back games against Dallas and the Clippers in which his shot was respectable (2-for-4 from the 3 against Dallas, 2-for-5 against the Clippers), he once again looked unsure of himself from the perimeter as the Lakers dared him to shoot.
Green took full accountability for his performance against the Lakers and their "gimmick" defense, in Green's words. He fouled out in 25 ineffective minutes.
Curry had another mysterious subpar performance on the holiday. He’s never scored 20 points on Christmas, averaging 12 points and shooting 29 percent in seven games.
Curry can’t really explain it.
At times, Oracle sounded like Staples Center. No doubt the Lakers are a lot better, but the Warriors aren’t panicking. The Warriors play the Lakers three more times in the regular season, and they could meet in the Western Conference playoffs.