Lakers Make A Statement With Christmas Road Rout Of Warriors

This is what the Los Angeles Lakers hoped for … eventually The ability to compete. The chance to challenge the Golden State Warriors, who have ruled the NBA. The...

This is what the Los Angeles Lakers hoped for … eventually

The ability to compete. The chance to challenge the Golden State Warriors, who have ruled the NBA. The possibility of dreaming about a return to greatness.

One victory doesn’t make all of that come true, but it certainly means the Lakers are pointed in the right direction. They torched the Warriors 127-101 on Tuesday evening, giving themselves and their fans a wonderful Christmas gift.

They also did it with LeBron James missing most of the second half with what appeared to be a mild groin strain. He said he is hopeful of playing Thursday night against the Kings in Sacramento.

“It’ll get a lot more challenging for us if he misses some real time, but I’m also very confident in our group that they’ll continue to step up and battle,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said.

The Lakers were dominant enough to lead by 31 points. The Warriors never regrouped as they fell further and further behind.

At 20-14, the Lakers are fourth in the NBA Western Conference standings. They’re 5-5 in their last 10 games, so let’s not hand them the Larry O’Brien Trophy just yet.

Let’s also remember that for their many young players, including Lonzo Ball, this meeting with the Warriors on a marquee day for the NBA (five nationally-televised games), was always viewed as a measuring stick, if not a steppingstone. The Lakers have missed the playoffs the last six seasons and won only 17 games in the 2015-16 season.

The Lakers passed that test, and did it without King James in the part of the game he normally dominates.

Welcome back. We missed you.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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