Lakers come to town, Warriors look to exact revenge

Lakers come to town, Warriors look to exact revenge
December 22, 2012, 11:45 am
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Kobe Bryant scored 27 points when the Lakers beat the Warriors 101-77 on Nov. 9. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

UPDATE (Dec. 22, 3:10 p.m.) -- Steve Nash will make his return to the Los Angeles Lakers tonight at Oracle Arena against the Warriors, according to USA Today.

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It’s the Lakers -- never mind the record, never mind the drama.

When the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Bay Area, the current shape of the team is irrelevant.

“They’re always a test,” Warriors forward David Lee said. “I don’t care if they’re 0-100, they’ve got the personnel to be very, very tough and we need to come out and give our best effort.”

The Lakers (12-14) enter the contest struggling this season, despite having won three straight, and sit 5.5 games back of the Warriors (18-9).

That doesn’t mean much headed into tonight’s game though, as the Lakers historically have the Warriors’ number and have swept the season series in three of the last four years.

The Warriors mantra -- “that’s not our history” -- doesn’t exactly apply. This season, on Nov. 9, Los Angeles delivered Golden State’s worst loss, 101-77 at the Staples Center.

Still, the way the Warriors have played of late, having won eight of their last 11 at home, tonight’s game should be telling of Golden State’s evolution.

“We expect to go out and win tomorrow night whether we are favored, or whether they have more talent, we just expect to go out there and win,” Lee said after Friday night’s win against the Bobcats. “And it’s not an arrogance, it’s just a confidence within our team because we trust one another.”

An All-Star pitch

The campaigning has begun already.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson is dropping more and more references of support for his two stars, Lee and Stephen Curry, to be included as All-Stars this season.

Jackson made the point in his postgame news conference Friday to say he’s not about chasing individual recognition, but he then went on to say that Curry and Lee deserve to be All-Stars for changing the culture of his basketball team.

“I would be doing them a disservice by not leading the parade acknowledging that they are very deserving of it,” Jackson said. “If it doesn’t happen, we are going to keep it moving and continue to win ball games, but while this mic is in front of me I’m going to let people know how special these guys have been.”

Lee, who recorded his third career triple-double against the Bobcats, is averaging 20 and 11.3 rebounds through 27 games this season.

“The only thing I worry about going into every game is getting rebounds because that’s one of the things that team needs me to do and for us to be successful,” Lee said after the win on Friday night. “I don’t worry one bit about scoring or post touches. They can not throw me the ball for five quarters; it doesn’t matter.

“I try to just go up and get every rebound on both ends of the floor and that gets me into the aggression of the game and the rest just takes care of itself.”

Curry has now hit 15 three-pointers in the team’s past two games -- the first Warriors player to ever hit at least seven in back-to-back games -- and is averaging 20.2 points, 6.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Parents weekend

A night after Curry hit eight three-pointers in front of his pops, Dell Curry, there will be another Warriors dad coming to Oracle. Klay Thompson’s father, Mychal Thompson, a former Laker and current team broadcaster, will be in attendance.

The Warriors second-year shooting guard looks forward to seeing his dad, facing off against the Lakers and the challenge of a matchup with Kobe Bryant.

“It’s fun, it’s real fun for me,” Thompson said about playing against the Lakers. “I look forward to those games because you can measure yourself against the best in the league. Those are the games to look forward to, especially since my Dad is calling it.”

For more Warriors news and analysis, follow @jimmypspencer on Twitter

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