The Los Angeles Lakers (9-19) played without Kobe Bryant for the first time this year, and did not skip a beat as they edged the NBA’s best Golden State Warriors 115-105.
Lakers’ head coach Byron Scott decided to give Bryant a day off just for rest.
"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 said. "Kobe told me last night, anyway, 'Coach, whatever you want me to do. Just let me know.' So he's on board with it."
The Lakers stepped up in Bryant’s absence; they had seven players scoring double-digits, including Carlos Boozer leading the team with 18 off the bench and was one rebound shy (9) from a double-double.
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"We just decided to take it upon ourselves and play for one another without our leader," Jordan Hill said. "We knew it was going to be a tough fight, but we came out and played hard, played together, and moved the ball around."
For the Warriors, this is only their fourth loss in 27 games this season. Stephen Curry scored 22 points in the loss and added six assists and three steals, while Klay Thompson added 18 points.
Both teams shot 12-26 from beyond the arc, but the Lakers just outplayed the Warriors Tuesday night.
"They kicked our (butts). They were much better than we were," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "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."
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The Warriors turned the ball over 19 times, giving the Lakers 25 points off their turnovers.
Both teams are in action Christmas Day. The Lakers go to Chicago to face the Bulls, and the Warriors travel to LA to battle the Clippers Thursday.