GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (48-30)
at LOS ANGELES LAKERS (25-53)
Tip-off: Friday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Golden State -10, Total: 220
The Warriors look to bounce back from a tough loss on Thursday night as they visit the struggling Lakers on Friday night.
Golden State was leading the Nuggets by 10 points at the half on Thursday, but could not hang on, as Kenneth Faried hit a shot with five seconds left in the game to hand the Warriors their fourth loss in the past eight games. Golden State (38-38-2 ATS) is known for a terrific offense (103.5 PPG, 10th in NBA), but has not shown the ability to win a game when the offense does not play its best. The Warriors have lost eight of their past nine games when they score less than 100 points. Golden State is a solid 22-16 SU (20-18 ATS) on the road this season, and has won two of the three matchups against the Lakers, with the lone L.A. win coming when it held the Warriors under 100 points. There have been only three games this season where a team has scored at least 140 points, and the Lakers (38-38-2 ATS) have been on the wrong end in all three of those games. They have surrendered 109.5 PPG this season, which ranks second-worst in the NBA, ahead of only Philadelphia. The team lost SG Kobe Bryant (knee) very early in the season, and knew it would be a rebuilding year in Los Angeles. But the Lakers, who are a dismal 14-25 SU at home (18-20-1 ATS), have been decimated with injuries to PF Pau Gasol (vertigo), PG Steve Nash (hamstring) and SG Xavier Henry (knee) throughout the season, and now C Chris Kaman (calf) is doubtful for Friday. The Warriors remain without star PF David Lee indefinitely due to a hamstring injury. The Lakers are really struggling right now with five straight losses (1-4 ATS), but they are 17-4 ATS (81%) after failing to cover four of their previous five games in the past two seasons. However, Golden State is 19-8 ATS (70%) in the past two seasons when coming off a home loss.
Can the Warriors bounce back from Thursday's loss with a sizable victory over the hapless Lakers? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Zach is a stellar 65% ATS (15-8) in NBA Best Bets since March 9, while StatFox Gary has remained hot with a 57% ATS mark (21-16) in Best Bets since Feb. 13. StatFox Dave has a profitable 54% ATS (50-42-2) NBA Best Bets record since Dec. 1, while StatFox Brian is 53% ATS (29-26-1) in Best Bets since Jan. 25.
Golden State ranks in the top-10 in the NBA in several statistics, including rebounding (5th, 45.2 RPG), assists (7th, 23.1 APG) and scoring defense (8th, 98.8 PPG). The Warriors have had no trouble scoring all season, especially from long range where they making 37.7% of their three-pointers (5th in NBA). PG Stephen Curry (23.5 PPG, 8.5 APG, 4.2 RPG, 1.6 SPG) is coming off a monster game on Thursday (24 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists), but has had his struggles against the Lakers this season, as he has averaged only 14.0 PPG on 36% FG against this team. That is his lowest scoring average against any team this season. However, his backcourt mate SG Klay Thompson (18.4 PPG, 41% threes) has been dominant against the Lakers with 24.7 PPG on 48% FG in the three meetings. In the season opener, he erupted for 38 points, while hitting 5-of-7 from the three-point line. For the Warriors to be able to compete, they need to get solid play from the frontcourt, and they have received a boost with the return of C Andrew Bogut (7.5 PPG, 10.0 RPG). While he is not counted upon to do a lot of scoring, he gives them a great rebounder that can play very well in the pick-and-roll game with Curry and Thompson. With PF David Lee (18.5 PPG, 9.4 RPG) still out due to injury, getting Bogut back is a huge plus for the Warriors.
It has been a very difficult season for Los Angeles, as injuries have absolutely decimated the team. However, the Lakers have shown that they can beat some of the top teams in the league at home, sporting wins against Golden State, Oklahoma City and the Clippers at the Staples Center. For the season, they score 102.9 PPG (11th in league) on 24.3 APG (4th in NBA). SF Nick Young (17.5 PPG, 38% threes) has taken advantage of the opportunity to show that he can still be a big-time scorer. In three matchups against Golden State, he is averaging 15.7 PPG. He has been on fire recently as well, averaging 24.2 PPG in his past five games, including a 32-point performance against the Rockets in the teamís last game on Tuesday. In that contest, the Lakers scored 130 points, but had one of those horrible defensive nights as they gave up 145 to the Rockets. PG Jodie Meeks (15.6 PPG, 40% threes) poured in 30 points in that game, and has been the most consistent Lakers player this season. Like Young, he has been playing his best basketball as of late, averaging 23.3 PPG in the past four games. Both of these teams are looking to push the tempo and score a lot of points, so expect a shootout in this game. The Over has occurred in seven of the 11 meetings (64%) over the past three seasons.