LOS ANGELES – Even a team that dominates the way the Golden State Warriors have this season is bound to stumble every now and then.
They tossed out a clunker against the Los Angeles Lakers, losing 112-95 on Sunday while shooting a season-worst 13 percent from 3-point range.
“We got what we deserved,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “When the ball doesn’t go in, you have to win with energy and defense and toughness, and we didn’t have any of that.”
The young Lakers did. Los Angeles was led by Jordan Clarkson with 25 points and rookie D’Angelo Russell, who finished with 21. They handed the defending NBA champions just their sixth loss of the season, all on the road.
Kobe Bryant added 12 points in one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. It was easily the Lakers’ most important victory in a downtrodden farewell season for Bryant, who spent the fourth quarter on the bench resting his aching right shoulder and mentoring his teammates.
“Kobe kept us on our toes,” Russell said. “He was coaching us the whole game from the sideline. Telling us to push it when we got it, don’t wait, and it worked.”
Stephen Curry scored 18 points on a day the Warriors were awful offensively. Klay Thompson added 15 points, but the Splash Brothers were a combined 1 of 18 from 3-point range. In all, the league’s best long-range shooting team missed 26 of 30 attempts, a season low for makes for a team that averages nearly 13.
“I would say 24 of them were good shots that just missed,” Curry said. “It happens.”
Golden State fell to 55-6 and the Lakers improved to 13-51.
“We haven’t brought our A-plus game, but we’ve found different ways to win,” Curry said. “That’s what we’ve been most proud of this year. Today could have been the same story had we made shots in the third quarter and not dug ourselves such a huge hole.”
Bryant made it back for his final career game against the Warriors on national TV after sitting out Friday’s loss to Atlanta. Gleeful fans chanted his name in the fourth while he grinned from the bench, clearly delighted that his junior teammates rose to the occasion, with seven players in double figures. The Lakers had lost two straight and 10 of 13 coming in.
“We executed the game plan very well. We paid attention to detail very well,” Bryant said. “For the young guys, it’s extremely important to see the results of it. As they grow, they start trusting that more and more, they start trusting the process more and more. From that aspect, it was a big game.”
Rockets 113, Raptors 107
In Toronto, James Harden had 40 points and 14 assists to help Houston end the Raptors’ 12-game home winning streak.
Thunder 104, Bucks 96
In Milwaukee, Kevin Durant had 32 points and 12 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook posted his 10th triple-double of the season.
Pistons 123, Trail Blazers 103
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Reggie Jackson scored 30 points in another big game against Portland as Detroit beat the Trail Blazers.
Nuggets 116, Mavs 114 (OT)
In Denver, D.J. Augustin scored the Nuggets’ last eight points of overtime, including two free throws with 0.9 seconds left.
Suns 109, Grizzlies 100
In Memphis, Devin Booker had 27 points and nine assists, and Alex Len added 19.
Heat 103, 76ers 98
In Miami, Hassan Whiteside had seven blocked shots, including a pivotal one late as the Heat won their fifth in a row, beating Philadelphia.