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Lakers get their first preseason victory since 2010

New players deliver 104-95 win over Golden State.Young scores 17 points, Henry has 29, and Farmar gets 12 and seven assists.

October 05, 2013|By Ben Bolch
  • Lakers center Jordan Hill loses the ball with Golden State forward Harrison Barnes defending.
Lakers center Jordan Hill loses the ball with Golden State forward Harrison… (Alex Gallardo / Associated…)

The smile that never seems to leave Nick Young's face has only grown wider in recent weeks.

The lifelong Lakers fan is living his dream, slipping on the jersey of his beloved team. He's even talked trash with Kobe Bryant, the superstar he has long mimicked in neighborhood parks, recreation courts, really anywhere he could dribble a basketball.

Young showed Saturday night he could be the offensive force the Lakers need until Bryant returns from the torn Achilles' tendon that has sidelined him since April.

BOX SCORE: Lakers 104, Golden State 95

The swingman scored 17 points in a foul-plagued 19 minutes in his Lakers preseason debut at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, helping his team pull out a 104-95 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers also received a staggering 29 points off the bench from guard Xavier Henry, who will no longer be a longshot to make the team if he can regularly duplicate his nine-for-15 shooting performance.

Young showed off an array of moves that dazzled a crowd that included Lakers executive Jim Buss, who watched the game with arms folded from a courtside seat. Young converted a three-point play in the second quarter after pump-faking Stephen Curry into the air and then making a long jumper and an ensuing free throw.

A few minutes later, Young faked out Harrison Barnes with a crossover dribble before making a smooth step-back jumper. Young picked up his fifth foul early in the third quarter, departed a few minutes later and did not return.

A preseason victory has been as elusive as a title parade for the Lakers in recent seasons. They lost both of their preseason games during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season before last season's infamous 0-8 mark stretched their skid to 10 consecutive games.

Their last victory before Saturday came Oct. 22, 2010, against the Warriors in Ontario, with Brian Shaw filling in for a flu-riddled Coach Phil Jackson.

The starting lineup the Lakers used Saturday was one they hoped to debut and retire in the same evening. If the group comprising Young, Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman resembled a second unit, it might be because each player has been largely a reserve in recent seasons.

The makeshift lineup took the court because three mainstays were either unavailable or resting the day before their team was to play again.

Bryant, recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon, had traveled to Germany to undergo a minor procedure designed to strengthen his right knee.

Steve Nash and Pau Gasol were easing into the preseason, with the veterans expected to make their debuts Sunday when the Lakers play host to the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.

The flip side of not having their stars was that the Lakers got a longer look at several players who must make significant contributions if the team is to defy most predictions and make the playoffs.

Henry made a shot from beyond half court at the halftime buzzer and threw a nifty out-of-bounds alley oop to Elias Harris. He tried another half-court heave at the end of the third quarter but missed badly.

Guard Jordan Farmar showed the expected pluck in his first game with the Lakers since Game 7 of the 2010 Finals, collecting 12 points and seven assists.

Golden State didn't take it easy on the Lakers early on, trotting out its regular starters with the exception of shooting guard Klay Thompson, who came off the bench. Thompson led the Warriors with 26 points as most of their starters sat out the second half.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Twitter: latbbolch

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