Warriors-Lakers: What to watch for

Warriors-Lakers: What to watch for
April 1, 2012, 5:49 pm
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The Warriors have lost four games in a row, including two athome most recently to the New Orleans Hornets and New Jersey Nets. They begin afour-game road trip Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers.The Lakers, who are coming off a come-from-behind victoryover the Hornets on Saturday, have beaten the Warriors seven consecutive timesat Staples Center.Here are some things to watch for during Sundays gamebetween the Warriors and Lakers:Make Kobe a volume shooter: Kobe Bryantis the leading scorer in the league, averaging 27.9 points per game, but hesmired in an awful three-game shooting slump.Bryant is just 19-for-70 from the field (27.1 percent) overthat stretch, including going 3-for-21 against the Hornets on Saturday. In thatgame, he headed into the fourth quarter having missed his first 15shots.Bryant ended up making the game-winner against New Orleans,but if the Warriors can continue to make Bryant an inefficient scorer, itincreases their chance of winning the game.Limit second-chance points: The frontlinetandem of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol has given the Warriors trouble for yearsup front. Warriors power forward David Lee will likely have to defend Gasol anddefending Bynum will likely be the responsibility of rookie Jeremy Tyler atleast to start.If the Warriors hope to stay in this game, theyll needDavid Lee to continue contributing as he has the past few weeks, but theyllalso need production out of Tyler and also backup center MickellGladness.Nobody is expecting the Warriors frontline to win thefrontcourt matchup, but theyve got to hold their own.No surprise stars: The Lakers defeated the Warriors 104-101 on Tuesday in Oakland, but it was a game Golden State had ashot at. One player who really hurt the Warriors that night was substitute MattBarnes, who finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in just 30minutes.Its difficult enough to beat the Lakers when theirhigh-profile stars are playing well. Its a lot tougher when the Lakers aregetting big play out of their role players.And thats what happened last Tuesday in the Lakers-Warriorsgame with Barnes and to a lesser degree Metta World Peace.Thompsons game: Rookie shooting guardKlay Thompson has scored in double figures 16 consecutive games for theWarriors, which has taken some of the sting out of the Monta Ellis trade.Nows the time for Thompson to become a little bit moreefficient though. He needs a little more consistency in terms of his shootingpercentage and it would also be nice if he could better his assist-to-turnoverratio as the season comes to a close.

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