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After the protracted drama between Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy and the six-time All-Star center, Howard met questions about the Lakers' coaching staff with a smile and silence.
"I'm going to keep that to myself," Howard said. "I learned my lesson last year."
Brown never got the chance to integrate the two stars into his new offense while they were dogged by health issues. Kupchak and Buss still needed to see more progress than the Lakers managed in the past six weeks, particularly on defense -- and they saw it against the Warriors, who managed just 33.7 percent shooting and made 19 turnovers.
"We were just out of sync, no excuse," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "If you're going to beat a good team on the road, you've got to take care of the basketball. We came in with the mindset to run, and they outscored us even in fast-break points. Just disappointed overall."
Stephen Curry scored 18 points and Klay Thompson had 15 for the Warriors, who have lost five straight to the Lakers overall, and nine in a row at Staples Center since March 2008.
"I think we played well, but the score doesn't say that," Curry said. "Defensively, we did a pretty good job. We're just undersized down there, trying to battle the boards and the paint."
The Lakers' offensive struggles evaporated in the third quarter while they leaped to an 18-point lead over the undermanned Warriors, who struggled to contend inside without injured center Andrew Bogut.
Darius Morris had career highs of 10 points and five rebounds while playing the majority of the Lakers' minutes at point guard. Los Angeles' reserves have been largely ineffective during Brown's tenure, but Morris and Hill led a spirited effort against the Warriors, outscoring their counterparts with Golden State 37-17.
NOTES: Lakers F Devin Ebanks was inactive after getting arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs early Friday morning. Rookie Darius Johnson-Odom made his NBA debut in the final minutes. ... Warriors C Andris Biedrins came up roughly 2 feet short on an airballed free throw in the first half. The Latvian veteran has a career free throw shooting percentage just over 50 percent. ... Brown went 42-29 with the Lakers, coaching them to the second round of the playoffs during the strike-shortened season before his abbreviated start to this fall.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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