LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — On a night when Kobe Bryant was given a break, the Los Angeles Lakers stunned the Golden State Warriors, 115-105 at STAPLES Center on Tuesday.
Bryant, who is averaging 24.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, was completely rested by LA Lakers (9-19) head coach Byron Scott and his teammates stepped up to earn the shocking victory and end a three game losing streak.
Scott revealed that he made the decision to give Bryant the night off after talking to trainer Gary Vitti and GM Mitch Kupchak — adding that Bryant was “OK” with the decision.
“Looking at our schedule coming up, I just thought it was a good time to give him a day of rest and let him prepare for the next game,” Scott told reporters after the win.
“Kobe told me last night, anyway, ‘Coach, whatever you want me to do. Just let me know.’
“He was OK with me making the decision. So he’s on board with it.”
In Bryant’s absence, seven Lakers players, including Carlos Boozer, who had a team high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field, and nine rebounds, scored in double figures.
Ronnie Price scored 17 points and eight assists, Nick Young added 15 points, while Ed Davis and Wesley Johnson each scored 14 points in the victory for the LA Lakers, which shot 51.7 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from behind the arc.
“It was a good team win,” Young said. “We just had a lot of energy, and it was a lot of fun from the start.
“From the locker room to the court, we felt good. Some guys just played free tonight and did their thing. They had no handcuffs on them.”
Stephen Curry shot 10-of-14 from the field to score 22 points and six assists to lead the way for Golden State (23-4), which had a two game winning streak snapped.
Klay Thompson had 18 points and David Lee finished with 12 points and seven rebounds in the defeat.
“They kicked our (butts),” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “They were much better than we were.
“We weren’t ready to play. We started turning the ball over immediately.
“We never had any energy, which is going to happen occasionally in the NBA with 82 games.”
Also on Tuesday night, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 115-111 in overtime at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The teams ended regulation time locked at 98-98, before Portland outscored Oklahoma City 17-13 in overtime.
Damian Lillard buried 8-of-12 shots from behind the arc, including the three-pointer that send the game into overtime with 0:03 left in regulation.
Lillard, who also had 11 assists in the win, then scored seven of his team’s 17 overtime points.
“Every time we get in a situation like that, I try to find a spot on the floor where I feel like I can get to for sure, and tonight was just another one of those times,” said Lillard, who had a combined 18 points in the 4th quarter and overtime.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 25 points and nine rebounds, while Wesley Matthews hit five of his eight three pointerss on his way to scoring 22 points.
Russell Westbrook led the way for the Thunder, which played without star forward Kevin Durant, who missed his third straight game with a sprained right ankle.
Westbrook finished with a season-high 40 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and dished six assists before fouling out of the game with 1:39 left in overtime.
The All-Star point guard also missed a potential game winning buzzer beating three-pointer at the end of regulation.
Reggie Jackson scored 21 points off the bench, while Serge Ibaka added 16 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in the defeat for the Thunder (13-16), which falls to 7-7 at home.
NBA SCORES ON DEC. 23
Portland Trail Blazers 115 (23-7), Oklahoma City Thunder 111 (13-16) (OT) – Box Score
Los Angeles Lakers 115 (9-19), Golden State Warriors 105 (23-4) – Box Score
Atlanta Hawks 107 (21-7), Los Angeles Clippers 104 (19-10) – Box Score
Phoenix Suns 124 (16-14), Dallas Mavericks 115 (20-10) – Box Score
Chicago Bulls 99 (19-9), Washington Wizards 91 (19-8) – Box Score
Cleveland Cavaliers 125 (17-10), Minnesota Timberwolves 104 (5-22) – Box Score
Brooklyn Nets 102 (12-15), Denver Nuggets 96 (12-17) – Box Score
Charlotte Hornets 108 (10-19), Milwaukee Bucks 101 (14-15) – Box Score
Indiana Pacers 96 (10-19), New Orleans Pelicans 84 (14-14) – Box Score
Orlando Magic 100 (11-20), Boston Celtics 95 (10-16) – Box Score
Philadelphia 76ers 91 (4-23), Miami Heat 87 (13-16) – Box Score