Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, October 8, 2001


Kobe Bryant scored 30 points as the Lakers lost to
the Golden State Warriors last night at the Sheriff Center.

Golden State wins,
thanks to rookies

Richardson and Murphy key
win over champion Lakers

Fox, Bryant shine in Laker loss

By Cindy Luis

They knew they were not the home team.

There were no beer specials at the local bars. No "Welcome Warriors and Fans'' signs hung around town. No proclamation from the governor.

Heck, they were even given the smallest locker room in the Stan Sheriff Center. One barely big enough to allow the 6-foot-11 Troy Murphy and 6-10, 265-pound Adonal Foyle to change into street clothes at the same time.

But the Golden State basketball team shook it off, just as the Warriors are trying to shed the injury-plagued memories of last year's 17-65 mark.

They may not be "Hawaii's Team'' but they are playing together as a team. It showed last night in the Warriors' surprising 99-89 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

In front of an announced sellout crowd of 10,300, Golden State stole the show from Showtime, using a balanced attack and youthful enthusiasm to subdue the two-time defending NBA champions.

The Warriors got solid performances from rookies Murphy and Jason Richardson, and an energizing outing from versatile Danny Fortson to secure the victory in the opening exhibition game for both teams.

Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal sat out last night with a toe injury.

Tomorrow's rematch is at 6 p.m.

Murphy, a forward out of Notre Dame, shared team-high scoring honors with 13 points while adding 5 rebounds and 2 steals in 24 minutes. Richardson, a 6-6 guard from Michigan State, added 12 points, six coming in the final 6:16, to help secure the victory.

"It's always a good win when you can beat a team on the road,'' said Golden State coach Dave Cowens. "As a player (11 years, 10 with the Boston Celtics) I always preferred winning while wearing the green (away) jerseys.

"We said we were going to play a lot of people and we played everyone except one (rookie guard Gilbert Arenas, groin injury). We'll be working on everything to get ready for Tuesday night.''

What the Lakers will work on in two-a-days today will be an answer to Fortson. The 6-8 swingman alternated between forward and center, dominating the inside with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

It was definitely an exhibition game yesterday with the two teams flaking off the rust from the off-season. The squads combined for 39 turnovers, clanked free throws and launched some very ugly airballs. At one point, Los Angeles had as many turnovers (12) as field goals.

L.A. center Shaquille O'Neal (toe injury) was on the bench in street clothes, rocking out with the Laker Girls during timeouts. Coach Phil Jackson was back in Los Angeles following his mother's funeral and likely will not join the team for tomorrow's game. And starting guard Derek Fisher, a critical cog in the offense, was also sidelined with an injury.

Still, Golden State felt good about the outing, especially the young players.

"I felt pretty good out there,'' said Murphy. "We played as a team, showed our depth. We have a lot of options.''

The Lakers also have a lot of options but chose to go with the one thing that was as constant as the smell of garlic fries in the arena: guard Kobe Bryant. The only time he disappointed the crowd was when he was sitting out.

Bryant scored a game-high 30 points, hitting all 13 of his free throw attempts, and enthralling the crowd with his aerial displays.

"We looked like we were very inexperienced and didn't have a lot of poise," said Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons. "That's probably to be expected. The first game back ... juices are flowing and they want to make a good impression ... you kind of forget what you had to do last year to have the successes to achieve a championship run."


GOLDEN STATE (99): Fortson 4-8 5-7 13, Murphy 5-7 3-6 13, Richardson 6-14 0-0 12, Foyle 5-6 0-0 10, Porter 4-6 1-2 9, Mills 3-6 2-2 9, Sura 3-8 1-2 7, Blaylock 3-7 0-0 6, Dampier 2-6 1-2 5, Blount 2-2 1-1 5, Hughes 2-6, 1-2 5, Jamison 0-3 5-6 5, Oliver 0-2, 0-0 0, Cumming 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 39-84 20-30 99.

LOS ANGELES (89): Bryant 8-14 13-13 30, Richmond 4-9 3-3 11, Fox 4-6 0-0 9, Hunter 3-5 0-0 7, Penberthy 1-3 4-4 7, Medvedenko 3-3 1-2 7, Walker 1-5 3-8 5, George 2-9 0-0 4, Horry 1-4 2-3 4, Simpkin 1-1 1-2 3, Shaw 1-5, 0-0 2, McCoy 0-1 0-0 0, Cornell 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 29-67 27-37 89.

Golden State 23 28 24 24 --99

Los Angeles 14 29 27 19 --89

3-Point goals--Golden State 1-7 (Mills 1-1, Blaylock 0-1, Hughes 0-1, Oliver 0-1, Sura 0-1, Richson 0-2), Los Angeles 4-14 (Bryant 1-1, Hunter 1-2, Fox 1-2, Penberthy 1-3, McCoy 0-1, Shaw 0-1, Richmond 0-2, Horry 0-2). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--Golden State 48 (Fortson 10), Los Angeles 55 (Horry 7). Assists--Golden State 21 (Blaylock 6), Lakers 20 (Bryant 5). Total fouls--Golden State 28, Lakers 25. Technicals--Los Angeles, illegal defense. Golden State, illegal defense. A--10,300.

Fox, Bryant shine
in Laker loss

By Grace Wen

As Kobe Bryant and Rick Fox demonstrated last night, everyone can benefit from a little bit of help from their friends.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Golden State Warriors, 99-89, last night, but Bryant poured in 30 points and had five assists to lead the Lakers in both categories. It was a performance for which he could be grateful to Fox.

"That's one of our strengths," Bryant said. "Last year in the playoffs, I constantly had him on my radar. Tonight, he hit me with a couple of nice passes. I hit him with a couple nice passes. I think it's important to build that as the season goes on."

The Lakers' Brian Shaw gets the first of his two assists
against Golden State's Danny Fortson in an NBA
preseason game at the Stan Sheriff Center last night.

All three of Fox's assists came from baskets the 23-year old guard made. And four of Fox's nine points were assisted by Bryant.

It started in the second quarter when Fox spotted Bryant on the baseline as he connected on his only 3-point attempt of the game.

Then the two combined for eight points during a 12-6 run in the third quarter that cut the Warriors lead to two at 57-55.

Fox scored first on a layup and a jumper, both passes from Bryant.

On the next Laker possession, Bryant came flying out of nowhere to dunk the inbounds pass from Fox. It was one of several plays by Bryant that thrilled the crowd of 10,300 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Twenty-four seconds later Fox found Bryant on the baseline again as he scored his 21st point of the game.

"It was the experience of working together over the last four years," Fox said. "We have a better understanding of each other in this system. As you grow and stay together and have the success that we've had, it affords you the opportunity to grow as a team but also as individuals as well."

Bryant said that he learned much from Fox during his rookie season and continues to learn from Fox now.

"Rick and I have a special connection because we've been together for such a long time," Bryant said. "On team bus rides, he's directly in front of me so we're constantly talking. We've become pretty good friends."

They were the only two starters on the court from last year's championship season. The Lakers were missing Shaquille O'Neal and Derek Fisher, who are out with injuries.

Bryant missed the opening days of training camp and arrived last Thursday after attending his grandfather's funeral in Philadelphia.

He said that he was struggling to get in shape. It didn't look that way when he opened both halves as the Lakers main scoring threat.

"My legs are really sore right now but I have to push through it," Bryant said. "We have to push through and understand that we're not playing for this point in time. We're playing for regular season."

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