OAKLAND (AP) — Klay Thompson returned from a one-game absence with an illness to score 28 points and light up the Lakers for the second time in 13 days, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 115-101 victory Saturday night over a Los Angeles team again missing LeBron James.
Splash Brother Stephen Curry missed his first eight shots before a layup with 6:20 remaining and still wound up with 14 points, two days after going off for 41 in a loss to the 76ers when he hit 10 3-pointers. The rest of the Warriors picked up the slack.
Andre Iguodala hit a go-ahead 3 in the final minute of the third, two more early in the fourth as Golden State pulled away and finished with 17 points. DeMarcus Cousins contributed his first double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in his second home game and seventh in all since coming back from a nearly yearlong recovery from surgery for a ruptured left Achilles tendon.
Kevin Durant added 21 points and 11 of the Warriors’ 31 assists.
The Lakers hung tough without James just as they did here in a 127-101 victory Christmas night. They lost James in the third quarter of that game to a strained left groin. He returned from a 17-game absence Thursday night against the Clippers only to sit again Saturday.
James’ rest was for what coach Luke Walton called “load management.” The four-time MVP had been set for his second game back but woke up Friday “very sore” after playing 40 minutes in the 123-120 overtime win against the Clippers. He finished with 24 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.
Cousins drove for a filthy one-handed slam against Kyle Kuzma at the 5:28 mark of the third then stared him down and trash-talked to pick up a technical.
Golden State had its 11-game winning streak, longest in the NBA this season, snapped with a 113-104 loss to the 76ers on Thursday night in Cousins’ home debut. The Warriors missed Thompson in that one.
He connected on his first four shots Saturday with a 3 and finished 10 for 15.
On Jan. 21 at L.A., Thompson tied an NBA record by making his first 10 attempts from 3-point range — going 10 for 11 from deep overall and hitting seven in the third quarter — on the way to 44 points in the Warriors’ 130-111 win. Golden State led by 36 at one point against the short-handed Lakers.
Lakers: Reserve C Tyson Chandler also rested for the Lakers. … Los Angeles shot 7 for 27 from 3-point range.
Warriors: Durant notched his fourth points-assists double-double of the season. … Coach Steve Kerr won his seventh Western Conference Coach of the Month award in five seasons, honored for the month of January. … Draymond Green had seven more assists to give him 75 in his past eight games.
Ex-Warriors center JaVale McGee received his championship ring at last. He had been sick and didn’t travel with the team to the Bay Area for the Christmas game.
McGee received his ring from Iguodala, who initially presented his former teammate with an empty box as a joke. McGee then held the ring to either side of the court and waved during a rousing ovation for the big man who spent two seasons in the Bay Area.
“JaVale was a big part of the last two championships,” Kerr said. “It’s only right to honor him and present him his ring and give him his moment in front of our fans for them to say thank you. … To be able to count on JaVale during the last couple of years whether he was playing or not and the professionalism he showed, his patience he showed when he wasn’t playing, that’s what it takes. It takes everybody’s commitment, whether they’re on the floor or not. He earned those two rings.”
Lakers fans way up in the rafters chanted “We want Thompson! We want Thompson!” — he becomes a free agent this summer — as he shot free throws in the second quarter. His father, Mychal, was a star for Los Angeles.
Lakers: At Indiana on Tuesday.
Warriors: Host the Spurs on Wednesday.
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