RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kobe Bryant, top, had an off shooting night, scoring 11 points during the Lakers' preseason game against Golden State last night. Andrew Bynum, battling for the Lakers' starting center job, beat Warriors rookie Brandan Wright to a rebound.
Lakers and Warriors finish up their two-game Hawaii preseason schedule
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The Golden State Warriors completed a two-game sweep of their exhibition series with the Los Angeles Lakers with a 119-106 win last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
With Baron Davis spending the evening on the bench, Kelenna Azubuike led Golden State for the second time in the biennial series with 22 points. Marco Belinelli added 18 for the Warriors while Mickael Pietrus had 17 before leaving the game with a wrenched back. Troy Hudson finished with 16, and Matt Barnes added 13.
Kobe Bryant, whose future with the Lakers was a matter of speculation in the national media earlier in the day, played more than 25 minutes in the game, and finished with 11 points on 2-for-10 shooting from the field. He also had eight assists.
Vladimir Radmanovic had 12 points to lead the Lakers. Guard Derek Fisher made four of five shots in the first quarter and also finished with 12.
Last night's game lacked the drama of Tuesday's opener, won by Golden State 111-110 on a last-second jumper by Hudson.
Unlike Tuesday's game, when the Warriors bolted to a commanding lead, the Lakers led early but still trailed by three after the first quarter.
Golden State opened up a 12-point lead with an 8-0 run late in the second quarter and held a 63-56 edge at the break.
The Warriors, who saw a 17-point lead disappear in the fourth quarter on Tuesday, this time maintained the cushion in the second half. The Lakers closed to within eight early in the fourth, but Golden State broke away again with an 11-2 run.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Lakers' Ronny Turiaf stuck his long arms in the way of the Warriors' Carlos Powell last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
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Los Angeles Lakers forward Ronny Turiaf is one of those few players who can contribute without even seeing the floor.
The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder from Gonzaga is hoping to increase his minutes this season, but it won't be the deciding factor in his importance to the team.
When not in the lineup, you can find Turiaf at the end of the bench waiting to celebrate every big Lakers play. Turiaf has become known for his creative dance moves and wild cheers every time the Lakers do something positive.
"When an NBA season gets long and you have someone like that who is always keeping you energetic out there it helps the whole team," Lakers forward Luke Walton said.
Turiaf earned the start at forward last night and had seven points and four rebounds in 17 minutes.
With guys like Kwame Brown, Lamar Odom and Brian Cook in front of him, he hasn't gotten the chance to showcase the skills that earned him the West Coast Conference player of the year award in 2005.
Despite that, Turiaf has stayed positive and remained vibrant as ever as he continues to help the team in whatever way he can.
"It's just a matter of being patient and trying to put yourself in a position to be successful," Turiaf said. "I always put the team first and whatever it takes for the team to win games, that's what I am going to do."
Things weren't quite as optimistic the last time Turiaf visited Hawaii. After being selected in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft, Turiaf was diagnosed with a serious heart condition that nearly ended his career.
Lakers doctors found an enlarged aortic root in his heart that required potentially career-ending surgery. But just three months after undergoing the procedure, Turiaf was back with the Lakers when they opened training camp in Hawaii.
Since then, he has worked his way back to being a contributor off the Lakers bench. The heart condition is so far gone from his mind that he doesn't even like being reminded about it.
"That stuff doesn't come to my mind unless you guys ask me stuff about it," Turiaf said. "I just kept playing basketball, man."
When the opportunities present themselves, Turiaf has played well. Against Golden State last year, Turiaf was given a career-high 32 minutes of playing time and finished with 23 points and nine rebounds.
He also recorded his first playoff double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in a first-round game against Phoenix.
"I feel like I have showed a little bit so far when I've had a chance to play," Turiaf said. "It's always nice to be recognized for what you do out there, but right now I'm just trying to make the team."
Turiaf's demeanor off the court isn't as unusual as it may seem, but he's definitely not your normal professional basketball player.
"We're all nuts," Walton said. "But yeah, he's got a little crazy in him."