Steve Nash is defended by Golden State's Stephen Curry during the… (ChinaFotoPress / Getty…)
BEIJING — If you missed it, you are forgiven. Truly.
The Lakers played Golden State in an exhibition game that started at 4:30 a.m. Pacific time, ended a few ticks before 6:45 and took place 6,000 miles from L.A.
Nick Young had 16 points, Pau Gasol had 15 and the chants for Kobe Bryant started in the first quarter of the Lakers' 100-95 loss.
Bryant wore a dark suit on the bench, still recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon, but it didn't stop the scoreboard operator from putting him on the big screen three or four times a quarter to the delight of Lakers fans.
He grabbed a microphone before the game, said hello to the crowd in Chinese and followed it up with a quick thought in English.
"I hope we put on a really great show for you guys and hopefully I'll get back out there soon," he said to applause.
Fans gravitated toward another familiar name and cheered practically every touch by Gasol — even a missed three-point shot that would cause most Lakers followers to groan.
Whatever. MasterCard Arena sold out quickly when tickets went on sale about a month ago, and there were few empty seats in the 18,000-seat facility that housed basketball at the 2008 Olympics.
The Lakers might want to work on something before their rematch Friday in Shanghai — interior defense.
Warriors forward David Lee had 31 points for the Warriors, who seemed determined to win Tuesday's game.
In the final minutes, the Warriors had their top five players on the court — Lee, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
The Lakers countered with Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre, Steve Blake, Elias Harris and Xavier Henry.
Not surprisingly, the Warriors pulled away down the stretch.
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