Kobe, Lakers too much for Warriors in L.A.

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Kobe, Lakers too much for Warriors in L.A.

BOX SCORE
Lakers 120, Warriors 112Player of the game: Kobe Bryant scored 40 points on 16-for-28 from the field, helping the Lakers hold off a late rush by the Warriors. It was the first time Bryant made at least half of his shots in a game since March 4.

Im very proud of the way we fought, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. There was a point where they were making shots. They had us on the ropes and we battled back. We responded, put ourselves in a position to win the game. They made big shots especially Kobe.Key stretch: With the Warriors down just one point 97-96 with seven minutes remaining, the Lakers ripped off nine consecutive points to regain separation.Ramon Sessions buried a 3-pointer, Kobe Bryant knocked down two free throws and Pau Gasol and Bryant scored in the lane and just like that the Lakers had re-established control.The Warriors pulled within three points later than that but never had the ball with an opportunity to tie.Im not going to tolerate games where we dont play with energy and effort, Jackson said. Were not good enough to play with 30 minutes of energy and effort. Im proud of this group. Weve got every excuse tailor-made for us, but we dont use it.Five turnovers: The Warriors committed just five turnovers, which equaled a franchise-low. Interestingly, they committed just five turnovers against the Lakers on Tuesday which tied a franchise-low at that point.Wright stuff: Dorell Wright was very efficient, scoring 14 points in just 20 minutes, but he didnt play in the fourth quarter. Instead, Warriors coach Mark Jackson stayed with Klay Thompson and Richard Jefferson on the wings. When Jackson did substitute for Thompson with under four minutes remaining in the game, he brought in Dominic McGuire.Bynum sits in second: Lakers center Andrew Bynum suffered a sprained left ankle in the first half and didnt return for the second. Bynum wound up playing just 10 minutes and was scoreless.He appeared to land on the foot of teammate Josh McRoberts with 1:49 remaining in the first quarter.Biedrins sighting: Andris Biedrins, who had missed the previous six games because of a strained groin, returned to action against the Lakers on Sunday.Warriors coach Mark Jackson went to Biedrins early in the first period after starting center Jeremy Tyler picked up three quick fouls and were talking really quick fouls.The Warriors were shorthanded at center because Mickell Gladness, whom the team signed for the rest of the season, was unavailable because of family matters.

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that the limited minutes allotted to former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in the All-Star Game Sunday was unrelated to a pending trade.

Cousins played only two minutes -- the shortest stint by any All-Star since Connie Hawkins in 1971 -- because that was the big man’s wish.

“I asked every guy before the game started how much they wanted to play,” said Kerr, who coached the Western Conference All-Stars for the second time in three seasons. “He told me he wanted to play two minutes. He was serious. He said he was banged up. It had nothing to do with (a trade).”

After six-plus seasons in Sacramento, Cousins was traded to New Orleans shortly after the All-Star Game, with the official announcement coming Monday.

Kerr initially thought Cousins was requesting to be limited to two minutes per half. When Kerr and assistant coach Mike Brown conveyed that plan, Cousins was quick to clarify.

“He said, ‘No, no: two minutes total,’” Kerr recalled.

When Kerr pointed out that Cousins actually played two minutes, 24 seconds, the newest Pelican flashed a sense of humor.

“I went over? By 24 seconds?” Cousins said. “That should be a fine for you, coach.”

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

OAKLAND -- The Warriors reconvened Wednesday and received good news, going through a light scrimmage that for the first time in weeks included centers Zaza Pachulia and David West.

The better news for the Warriors is that both were upgraded to questionable and could return as soon as Thursday night, when they face the Clippers at Oracle Arena.

“I would say there’s a good chance both of them would play tomorrow,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see.”

Pachulia has missed the last eight games after straining his right rotator cuff on Jan. 29 at Portland.

“The pain is gone,” Pachulia told CSNBayArea.com. “I can’t say I’ll be cleared, but there is no more pain.”

Pachulia is expected to reclaim his starting role despite Kerr’s acknowledging that JaVale McGee has been “fantastic” while starting the last eight games.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Kerr said. “I’ve got to make that decision. I want to make sure first that (Pachulia) is healthy. And it depends, too, on what happens with David. Is David healthy? Are they both playing? There’s kind of a domino effect on all of this stuff.

“I would anticipate that, ultimately, Zaza will be back starting. I liked that whole rotation. JaVale has helped us dramatically, and he’ll be playing a role. It’s a center-by-committee situation. But right away, we’ll see how we play it.”

West has missed the last 14 games with a non-displaced fracture in his left thumb, sustained Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City.

West was to undergo an X-ray late Wednesday, after which it was anticipated he would receive a clean slate.

The only players that did not scrimmage are All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. All four were given an extra day off in the wake of their participation in All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

“Just being in New Orleans for those four days, there’s no rest whatsoever,” Kerr said. “Those are the guys who played the most minutes. The All-Star break is such a great time to recharge.”