Instant Replay: Warriors beat Lakers, clinch playoff spot

Instant Replay: Warriors beat Lakers, clinch playoff spot
April 11, 2014, 9:15 pm
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Stephen Curry finished with his fourth triple-double of the season in the Warriors win over the Lakers. (USATSI)


LOS ANGELES – The Warriors clinched a playoff berth for the second consecutive season Friday night with a 112-95 thumping of the Lakers at Staples Center.

One night after taking a shocking home defeat from the depleted Denver Nuggets, the Warriors this time took advantage of a team that is both inferior and short-handed.

Stephen Curry made sure of it this time, nailing a triple-double: 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

The Warriors (49-30) earned back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time since 1992 and reached the 49-win mark for the first time since 1994.

Four other Warriors scored in double figures, as Klay Thompson and Marreese Speights each put in 16, Steve Blake 13 and David Lee 10.

Returning to action for the first time since March 22, when he sustained a strained right hamstring in a loss to San Antonio, Lee missed his first five shots before shaking off the rust to finish with 10 rebounds in additions to his scoring.

The Warriors owned the glass, taking a 57-42 rebounding advantage. That was rather predictable after they were outrebounded by 25 (63-38) one night earlier.

They held the Lakers (25-54) – who were missing the likes of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Chris Kaman – to 39.3 percent shooting. Nick Young led Los Angeles scorers, coming off the bench to finish with 25.

The Warriors also snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Lakers at Staples. Their last win over the Lakers here was on March 23, 2008, when Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson each scored 31 points in a 115-111 victory.

This was Curry's game from the start, and he put his signature on it during the second quarter, with 11 points (on 4-of-5 shooting), five rebounds and five assists in only seven minutes.

Blake provided a spark off the bench, torching his former team with three 3-pointers, two coming in the second quarter.

After a Jordan Hill jumper pulled the Lakers within five (43-38) with 4:33 left in the second quarter, the Warriors responded with a 15-5 to close out the half with a 58-43 lead. The Lakers never again got within single figures.

Curry scored 9 of the 15 points and assisted on the other three baskets.

SF Andre Iguodala (right knee tendinitis) and C Jermaine O'Neal (left knee soreness) did not play. C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery rehab) continues to go through drills but remains out indefinitely.

The Warriors on Saturday leave for Portland, where on Sunday (6 p.m.) they face the Trail Blazers at Moda Center. The Warriors have won two of three meetings this season and are trying to win the season series for the seventh time in nine seasons.