Basketball: Curry flat as Lakers surprise Warriors in major NBA upset

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers scoring against Andrew Bogut (right) and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. The bottom-placed Lakers' 112-95 win over the table toppers is one of the biggest NBA upsets. The loss was just the Warriors'
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers scoring against Andrew Bogut (right) and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. The bottom-placed Lakers' 112-95 win over the table toppers is one of the biggest NBA upsets. The loss was just the Warriors' sixth this season against 55 victories.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • The Los Angeles Lakers posted one of the biggest upsets of the National Basketball Association season on Sunday, with an unlikely 112-95 victory over the reigning league champions Golden State Warriors.

The pre-game hype was all about Kobe Bryant's final contest against the Warriors, but the crowd of 19,000 at the Staples Centre got more than they wished for with a rare win by the cellar-dwelling Lakers.

"This helps out our team's growth," Bryant said. "The learning curve comes from trusting our defence. We paid attention to detail very well.

"For the young guys, I think it's extremely important to see the results of it. When you pay attention to little details, good things happen."

Jordan Clarkson scored 25 points and D'Angelo Russell tallied 21, as the Lakers (13-51) handed the Warriors only their sixth loss of the season against 55 triumphs.

The Warriors are chasing the all-time best regular season in NBA history, the 72-10 campaign of the Chicago Bulls in 1995-96.

To match the mark, they must now win 17 of the final 21 games this season.

Based on the winning percentage difference of .727 between the teams before Sunday's game, the result is the largest upset in NBA history.

Bryant, who has been hampered by injuries of late, had 12 points on four-of-14 shooting in 24 minutes of court time. He missed all five of his three-point attempts and sat out the fourth quarter.

It marked the 37-year-old's first game back at Staples Centre since Feb 2. He missed three of the last four regular-season games with a sore shoulder.

"I feel terrible not being able to be out here for every single game," said Bryant, who is retiring after the regular season.

"If I can give it a go I will go out there and try."

Asked how many of the Lakers' final 18 games he would be able to play, Bryant said: "Hopefully all of them. I know it is wishful thinking."

Stephen Curry finished with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists, but shot just one of 10 from beyond the arc for the Warriors, who saw their seven-game win streak snapped.

"It was a bad performance all the way through," said Curry, who had four turnovers and registered a minus-9 rating in 34 minutes.

"Didn't have much energy to start the game, for whatever reason, and they played well, obviously.

"They were very aggressive, executed pretty well. We turned the ball over too much in the first half, and didn't give ourselves any opportunities.

"It was just one of those nights you want to avoid at all costs, but it happened, and we'll be all right."

Curry's back-court partner Klay Thompson scored 15 points, but missed all eight of his three-point attempts and shot seven-for-20 overall.

Golden State played without forward Andre Iguodala, who had an injured left hamstring.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2016, with the headline 'Curry flat as Lakers surprise Warriors'. Print Edition | Subscribe