LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, Pau Gasol added 14 points and 16 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers responded to coach Mike Brown’s firing earlier Friday with a 101-77 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Jordan Hill scored 14 points for the Lakers, who had just a few hours to absorb Brown’s dismissal after just 18 months on the job. Following a bumpy first half under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, they pulled away in the third quarter with a 25-9 run led by Bryant, who also had nine rebounds and seven assists.
Stephen Curry scored 18 points and Klay Thompson had 15 for the Warriors, who have lost five straight to the Lakers overall, and nine straight at Staples Center since March 2008.
The comfortable victory doubled the Lakers’ victory total for the season and capped one of the most tumultuous days in recent history for a franchise that’s never short on drama.
With the talented veteran club off to a Western Conference-worst 1-4 start after a winless preseason, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and owner Jim Buss abruptly dismissed Brown, informing the players during their morning shootaround.
Bickerstaff ran the Lakers as the interim coach, but the veteran NBA bench boss isn’t likely to be a candidate for the full-time job. Kupchak is searching for a replacement, possibly making a selection before the Lakers’ next game on Sunday against Sacramento.
The Lakers’ crowd quickly made its choice known: A chant of “We want Phil!” rose out of the stands while Bryant shot a free throw in the third quarter.
Phil Jackson, the 11-time NBA champion coach who won five rings in two previous stints running the Lakers, is near the top of Kupchak’s list again, the GM acknowledged. Mike D’Antoni, the former Knicks and Suns coach, also is thought to be a prime candidate.
Dwight Howard had six points and eight rebounds while playing just 24 minutes for the Lakers in his ongoing return from offseason back surgery. Steve Nash, the other major addition to the club, watched from behind the Lakers’ bench, missing his fourth straight game with a small fracture in his leg.
Brown never got the chance to integrate the two stars into his new offense while they were dogged by health issues. Kupchak and Buss still needed to see more success than the Lakers managed in the past six weeks, particularly on defense — and Los Angeles limited the Warriors to 33.7-percent shooting.
The Lakers’ offensive struggles evaporated in the third quarter while they leaped to an 18-point lead over the undermanned Warriors, who struggled to contend inside without injured center Andrew Bogut.
Darius Morris had career highs of 10 points and five rebounds while playing the majority of the Lakers’ minutes at point guard. Los Angeles’ reserves have been largely ineffective during Brown’s tenure, but Morris and Hill led a spirited effort against the Warriors, outscoring their counterparts with Golden State 37-17.
NOTES: Lakers F Devin Ebanks was inactive after getting arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs early Friday morning. Rookie Darius Johnson-Odom made his NBA debut in the final minutes. … Warriors C Andris Biedrins came up roughly 2 feet short on an airballed free throw in the first half. The Latvian veteran has a career free-throw shooting percentage just over 50 percent. … Brown went 42-29 with the Lakers, coaching them to the second round of the playoffs during the strike-shortened season before his abbreviated start to this fall.
More Related Stories
- Naomi Watts, "Argo," "Wonderstone" among bizarre Teen Choice Awards nominees
- Marc Maron on Twitter feud with Michael Ian Black: "We have an understanding"
- Imprisoned Pussy Riot member declares hunger strike
- The camp-free "Behind the Candelabra"
- Justin Bieber will destroy you if you live-tweet his parties
- "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis to jury: "You should be euthanized"
- Ai Weiwei releases heavy metal music video
- Actually, Beyoncé is a feminist
- Marc Maron and Michael Ian Black's epic Twitter battle
- Cannes: Directing 101 with James Franco
- Welcome to the jungle: The definitive oral history of '80s metal
- Burt Bacharach opens up on daughter's suicide
- Steven Spielberg to produce "Halo" television series
- Amazon set to launch fine-art gallery
- Twitter torches Dan Brown's "Inferno"
- Brad Pitt keeps breaking his silence on how boring marriage to Jennifer Aniston was
- Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" to use porn star body doubles
- New Beyoncé single leaked
- The sweet, sure to be short-lived "The Goodwin Games"
- Damon Lindelof admits barely-clothed scene in "Star Trek" was "gratuitous"
- Justin Timberlake: I'm a mediocre folk singer!
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11