The Warriors wasted yet another spectacular performance from Stephen Curry, who lit up the Los Angeles skyline with 47 points, but it was the Lakers that squeaked by with a 118-116 victory.
Curry made nine 3-pointers and 17 field-goals. He had 32 at halftime, and was on pace to eclipse the 54 that he put up at Madison Square Garden last month.
The headline on the other side of the court was Kobe Bryant, who left the game late in the fourth quarter after falling and holding his foot. Bryant had trouble walking as he left for the locker room. After the game, it was reported that he torn his Achilles and will likely be out for the remainder of the season and postseason.
As for the game itself, fouls were center-stage. The free-throw disparity — 50-16 in favor of the Lakers — could not have been more apparent. As usual, Warriors play-by-play commentator Bob Fitzgerald whined about the fouls against Golden State all game long, but for once, he was correct.
Down the stretch, several key plays came down to officiating, and that normally resulted in a call against the Warriors. With under a minute remaining and the Lakers down by one, Dwight Howard — a 49 percent foul shooter — appeared to be fouled by Curry. Instead, it was ruled that Curry fouled Steve Blake, who was not touched on the play. Blake made both free throws to put the Lakers ahead.
The Warriors would not score again, as a turnover by Jarrett Jack, a missed jumper by Carl Landry, and a missed prayer by Curry from 75 feet ended the game.
Golden State led by as many as nine in the fourth quarter and had control for the majority of the game. However, the turning point was Bryant’s two 3-pointers with under five minutes to play that tied the game at 107 and brought the Lakers new life.
Even with the loss, the Warriors remain a half game ahead of the Rockets for the sixth seed in the West with two games remaining.