The Warriors' first two preseason games belonged to Klay Thompson, who made resounding arguments on his behalf, perhaps in hopes of prodding the Warriors into offering an attractive contract extension.
The third game, Sunday at Ontario, belonged to Thompson's backcourt sidekick, Stephen Curry, who doesn't have to prove much of anything to his employers.
Curry scored a game-high 25 points, and the Warriors blew the Lakers off the Citizens Business Bank Arena floor in a 116-75 pounding.
Maybe it was the sight of one of Curry's idols, Steve Nash, on the floor. Or maybe it was just time. Curry scored 12 points in the first 2 1/2 minutes. Just for fun, he later hit a 30-foot 3-pointer over Lakers start Kobe Bryant, who responded with a playful tap of Curry's butt.
Indeed, the entire first unit was too much for a Lakers squad that is destined to struggle. They were taken apart by the Warriors' motion offense. So good was the ball movement that the Warriors totaled 33 assists on 41 baskets.
"We had a really good first half," coach Steve Kerr said, referring to the 63-36 halftime lead. "We moved the ball.
"When the ball moves, we're hard to guard. We've got shooters, passers and cutters. The only time we got in trouble was we had a couple spells where the ball just stopped. That’s what we're preaching constantly, ball movement and spacing."
The victory completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles teams, a win against the Clippers and two against the Lakers. Moreover, it illustrates the progress being made with Kerr and his staff in less than two weeks.
"All in all, I couldn't be happier after 10-12 days of camp," Kerr said.
THE GOOD: Surely displeased with his shooting in the first two games, Curry lit it up from the start, abusing any defender with the nerve to be in his vicinity. He scored 10 points in the first 100 seconds, and followed up with a 35-foot lob that Harrison Barnes slammed through the hoop. Curry also added six assists.
Kerr's decision to start Harrison Barnes and use Andre Iguodala as a reserve was another example of the new coaching staff exploring its options.
Maybe Iguodala's broken nose (he wore a clear mask) opened the door for the experiment, but it worked for the veteran who excelled at point forward, racking up a game-high eight assists in 21 minutes.
Barnes played well when on the floor with the first unit.
THE BAD: After an 8-for-11 start behind their core players, the Warriors 3-point shooting cooled drastically as the reserves held court. The team finished 13 of 33, meaning they missed 17 of their last 22 from beyond the arc. Brandon Rush, usually solid from deep, was 1-of-5.
THE TAKE: Before getting carried away, it must be noted that the Lakers look like one of the worst squads in the NBA. Yes, even with Kobe on the floor. Yet it's clear the Warriors continue to evolve, moving away from the offense utilized over the past three years to one that better suits their skills. The ball generally moves, as do the players, and the spacing in dramatically improved.
"We're further along than I expected, because we're adding a lot of stuff," Kerr said.
"But one of the reasons I was excited about this job is what they’ve built already, the continuity that's here. These guys have played together for a couple years. It's easy to see. They know one another. They won 51 games last year for a reason. They're good. They defend. And they're picking up on the stuff we added quickly, and it's showing. These guys can play. We've got a lot of talent.''