Lakers beat up on Warriors without Anthony Davis’ help

  • The Lakers’ Dwight Howard, right, grabs a rebound over the Warriors’ Ky Bowman (12) during the first half of Wednesday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell, right, is defended by the Lakers’ JaVale McGee during the first half of Wednesday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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  • LeBron james of the Los Angeles Lakers (C) goes to the hoop under pressure from Draymond Green (R) of the Golden State Warriors during their the regular season game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 13, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ Alex Caruso reacts after making a 3-point basket against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell (0) dunks past Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell directs his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell (0) passes the ball as Los Angeles Lakers’ Alex Caruso (4) and Dwight Howard (39) defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23) dunks near Los Angeles Lakers’ JaVale McGee (7), Jared Dudley (10) and Danny Green (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel yells out instructions as the team plays the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Willie Cauley-Stein (2) dunks past Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers (R) looks to pass under pressure from Willie Cauley-Stein of the Golden State Warriors (L) during the regular season game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 13, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

  • Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers scores as Alec Burks of the Golden State Warriors watches during their the regular season game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 13, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Willie Cauley-Stein, right, reaches for a high pass next to Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Eric Paschall (7) scores over Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard (39) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Willie Cauley-Stein (2) dunks past Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers slips as he dribbles in front of Glenn Robinson III #22 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers slips as he dribbles in front of Glenn Robinson III #22 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers maintains possession after slipping on the court against the Golden State Warriors during the regular season game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 13, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his basket and Golden State Warriors foul during the first half at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: D’Angelo Russell #0 of the Golden State Warriors drives to the basket on Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: D’Angelo Russell #0 of the Golden State Warriors loses the ball between Jared Dudley #10 and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: Marquese Chriss #32 of the Golden State Warriors passes as he is surrounded by Alex Caruso #4, Dwight Howard #39 and Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: D’Angelo Russell #0 of the Golden State Warriors scores past Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his pass, leading to a LeBron James #23 dunk, during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: Glenn Robinson III #22 of the Golden State Warriors grabs a rebound in front of Danny Green #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers, JaVale McGee #7 and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green questions a call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) shoots between Golden State Warriors’ Eric Paschall, left, and Alec Burks (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: Willie Cauley-Stein #2 of the Golden State Warriors passes in front of Jared Dudley #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ Alex Caruso (4) drives to the basket as Golden State Warriors’ Marquese Chriss (32) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, left, scores past Golden State Warriors’ Glenn Robinson III during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates his dunk during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James passes the ball near the basket as Golden State Warriors’ Marquese Chriss, center, and Eric Paschall, left, defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ JaVale McGee dunks over Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23), Glenn Robinson III (22) and D’Angelo Russell, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James questions a call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: D’Angelo Russell #0 of the Golden State Warriors steals a pass in front of Avery Bradley #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ Avery Bradley, right, scores over Golden State Warriors’ Jordan Poole, center, and Willie Cauley-Stein during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr argues with a referee during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell, right, dribbles around Los Angeles Lakers’ Avery Bradley, center, on a screen from Draymond Green during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard, top, dunks over Golden State Warriors’ Alec Burks (8), Glenn Robinson III (22) and Marquese Chriss, bottom left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers react to a Laker basket during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on November 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES — Even when it wasn’t going smoothly, it still went well.

An example: a teetering second quarter jumper by LeBron James, mere moments after he slipped to the floor, then ran a blown-up pick-and-roll play. He hoisted a shot, hoping to draw the foul (he did). Only the shot went in, too, and James held his shooting hand hanging in the air as Dwight Howard shook his head with a restrained kind of awe.

Shots like that went in for the Lakers on Wednesday night. And far less difficult ones as well.

The team that used to be the Golden State Warriors (2-10) was steamrolled at Staples Center 120-94, cleared away like debris by the far more experienced Lakers (9-2). Though playing at half-speed at times on the second night of a back-to-back, the Lakers never lacked control – from a lob dunk by JaVale McGee seven seconds after tip-off, to the closing seconds as purple and gold streamers tumbled from the rafters into the stands.

It could hardly have been a better night to rest Anthony Davis, the Lakers’ leading scorer through 10 games (26.3 ppg), who took time off to recover from a sore right shoulder. James capably carried the load, winding up with 23 points and 12 assists in just 26 minutes.

The Lakers have been winning, but hardly with this breadth of comfort.

“It’s been a while since we had one like that,” Coach Frank Vogel said. “I welcome it.”

James, of course, didn’t manage it by himself: Everyone ate. By halftime, all 10 Lakers who had checked in had scored, and each of them wound up with at least six points by the end of the night.

This was most readily felt in the paint, where James charged in at will, and McGee and Dwight Howard enjoyed larger roles on offense. Whereas the Warriors’ undersized lineup with Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry was once its strength, without that trio of stars it was simply undersized. Of the players who took the court for Golden State on Wednesday night, only Draymond Green (10 points, five assists) played any minutes at all for the Warriors last season.

Howard and McGee combined for 33 points and 25 rebounds as the Lakers scored 64 points in the paint as a team, and 23 off second-chance opportunities. The Lakers outrebounded the Warriors by 18.

Far from being a heated position battle, McGee said the dynamic between him and Howard has been supportive.

“If I’m having a bad game, then he’s picking me up,” McGee said. “If he’s having a bad game, then I’m picking him up. If we’re both having a great game, we’re winning the game.”

The perimeter didn’t go much better, as the inexperienced Warriors hit walls against screens, were fooled by routine handoffs and pick-and-rolls, and left plenty of shooters open as the Lakers reached the 30-assist mark for the fourth consecutive game (31 total).

There was some troubling news on the injury front: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope left the game with a left ankle injury. X-rays showed no sign of serious concern, but he will be re-evaluated Thursday morning.

Following a breakout night in Phoenix on Tuesday, Kyle Kuzma kept his post-injury momentum rolling with a 7-for-12 night from the floor with 22 points, hitting contested layups and 3-pointers (3 for 6) alike. The Lakers’ outside threats, who have underwhelmed to start the season, shot 45 percent from 3-point range (9 for 20).

For the entire fourth quarter, James sat to the right of the resting Davis and DeMarcus Cousins in a long-sleeve warmup shirt, looking quite at ease himself as his team rolled to its ninth victory in the last 10 games.

“Coming off a back-to-back, it’s very easy to go into the dull stage or feel a little tired,” James said. “I let the group know that I wasn’t, and see if they was gonna feed off that. And they did.”

It was not without some sloppy ends. The Lakers didn’t look much like the second-ranked defense in the league (which they were entering the game), allowing former Laker D’Angelo Russell to score 17 of his 21 points by halftime. The early going was more back-and-forth than they would have liked: Vogel called a timeout after a 17-15 start.

But from the beginning, the Lakers’ shot-making sealed the fate of the Warriors: The Lakers went on a 12-0 run out of the timeout and went on to hit 16 of their first 20 attempts. They led by as much as 27 points.

In the Lakers’ locker room, there were no tears shed for Golden State’s fallen dynasty. James said he thought it was strange to watch the Warriors without Curry and Thompson on TV, but added, with a sharp note, that “I played them in the Finals without Kyrie (Irving) and Kevin (Love).” Kuzma called it “the life cycle of the NBA.”

“You can’t be great forever,” he said. “They’re a dynasty throughout this decade, won three rings and had a lot of success. When you play that much basketball every single year, you’re bound to have nicks and bruises and pains.”

More relatively easy sailing lies ahead for the Lakers, who play their next three games at home against the Kings, Hawks and Thunder – all of whom are languishing under .500. While Davis is expected to return on Friday when Sacramento visits, kicking around the Warriors was a positive sign that the Lakers don’t necessarily need him to lay on a beating.

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