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Lakers 117, Warriors 89 - Pau Gasol's Perfect Game + A Lesson On How To Take Huge Leads And Hold Onto Them

There's a lot reasons for why the Los Angeles Lakers are better than the Golden State Warriors. But one that stands out the most automatically is that the Lakers know how to hold leads and extend them in punishing fashion.

Never once losing focus or intensity, the Lakers crushed the Warriors easily from tip off to the final buzzer, cruising to a 16 point lead at the end of the first and cushioning that lead with each quarter after. The Lakers played to perfection, literally. Pau Gasol, sitting out the fourth quarter, finished the game with 28 points on 10-10 shooting from the field and 8-8 from the line. If that wasn't enough, he also chipped in 9 boards, 5 assists, and 4 blocks. Damn, I wish I had him on my fantasy basketball team.

Kobe Bryant finished with 20 points in just 24 minutes. Reserve Shannon Brown was also nearly perfect from the field 7-10 for 17 points.

The Lakers came well prepared to defend anything the Warriors had as they denied the Warriors any easy buckets either in transition or in the paint (11 blocks). Perimeter defenders Ron Artest and Derek Fisher had 5 steals combined. The Warriors had no answer for the Lakers' lockdown defense as they shot below 35% for the bulk of the game. The Warriors were unable to get out on the break, finishing with only 4 fast break points in comparison to the Lakers 29.

Leading scorers for the Warriors Ellis and Curry finished well below their season averages, with only 5 and 13 points, respectively. Ellis left the game after landing awkwardly on his left hip. He did not go to the lockeroom but there was no reason to bring him back in anytime afterwards as the game was already out of reach at that point.

The extended minutes for the second unit gave rookies Jeff Adrien and Jeremy Lin extra in-game practice and both seem to make the best of their opportunities despite the blowout. After struggling early, Lin finished with a career high of 13 points on 4-9 shooting and 5-5 from the free throw line. Jeff Adrien provided a hustle in the middle that the Warriors have sorely been lacking but missed a few gimme shots deep in the paint. Adrien finished with 10 rebounds and 6 of them offensive.