OAKLAND -- And to think, if you believe Warriors coach Mark Jackson, Klay Thompson was close to being a reserve.

The sidekick in the Splash Brothers duo turned out to be the best player on the court Wednesday night. His career-high 38 points highlighted Golden State's 125-94 embarrassment of the Los Angeles Lakers, who played without Steve Nash.

"It felt great," Thompson said. "That's what we live for. It's crazy. I never imagined I'd have 38 points in three quarters. But, you know what, you can surprise yourself sometimes."

The Thompson-led onslaught was the largest margin of victory on opening night in Warriors history.

Golden State never trailed, leading by as much as 35 points. The game was so one-sided, it was hard to discern whether Golden State is that good or the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers are that bad.

The Warriors are expected to get a much more stern test Thursday night. They conclude their first back-to-back set at the Los Angeles Clippers, who are no doubt still smarting from the shocking loss the Lakers handed them Tuesday.

"It's going to be a battle," point guard Stephen Curry said. "They won the division last year, so we're trying to get to where they are. We understand they didn't play as well as some people probably expected for their first game. And your home opener is a big deal, so they'll want to protect their home court. So it's a big task for us."

Thompson and the Warriors defense were so good, the team didn't need much from Curry. He finished with 10 points and six assists in 24 minutes. Curry, along with the rest of the starters, sat the entire fourth quarter.

Led by the swarming presence of newcomer Andre Iguodala and the rim presence of center Andrew Bogut, the Warriors shut down Los Angeles.

The Lakers looked frustrated and confused. Through three quarters, they managed just 63 points on 32 percent shooting with 14 turnovers.

"We've been caged, forced to feed on each other," Jermaine O'Neal said after registering two of Golden State's nine blocks. "So it was good to go after another team. ... What you saw (Wednesday) was what we see in practice. It's very difficult to score in practice."

Golden State, which led by 19 at the half, was up 69-52 with just under nine minutes left in the third quarter. But a 19-6 run turned the game into a laugher.

Curry capped a spurt of seven straight points with a 3-pointer. Minutes later, his drive-and-dish set up a wide-open Iguodala 3-pointer. The Warriors led 81-56 with 5:26 left.

After Lakers guard Jodie Meeks missed a driving layup, Iguodala took off the other way, a teammate running on either side of him. He zipped an around-the-back pass to David Lee (24 points) on the left. Lee sent a touch pass back to Iguodala for an easy layup.

The frenetic Oracle Arena fans responded with a rousing ovation. But it felt deeper than a response to a nifty fast break. It felt more like a resounding nod to the acquisition of Iguodala. A thank you for showboating against a rival that has for years has broken their heart. A reaction to an epiphany that their team might be legit after all.

Fittingly, Thompson provided the finishing touches.

He drove for a finger roll at the 3:09 mark, putting the Warriors up 32. The next two possessions, he sealed with step-back jumpers over the smaller Lakers guards, with the ease of big brother over his puny sibling.

By the time Thompson checked out, Golden State's lead was up to 96-62, and he received his own ovation.

"I don' think enough credit is given to him for being a heck of a basketball player," Jackson said. "Not only did he shoot the lights out, but he defended. Our overall defense was awfully impressive. ... We did the job we are supposed to do."

  • Rookies Nemanja Nedovic and Ognjen Kuzmic made their NBA debuts Wednesday.

    Getting garbage time in the fourth quarter, Kuzmic -- the 7-footer out of Serbia -- got the bench to erupt with a layup.

    Nedovic, a guard taken with the No. 30 overall draft pick, airballed his one attempt, a long 3-pointer from the top.

  • Toney Douglas had 13 points, four assists and four rebounds off the bench. Charged with the task of replacing Jarrett Jack, Douglas was one of the question marks for Golden State this season.

  • Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said the tentative plan is to rest Nash for one game in back-to-back sets to keep the 39-year-old point guard fresh.

    For more on the Warriors, go to Marcus Thompson's blog at www.ibabuzz.com/warriors. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/gswscribe.

    Thursday's game

    Warriors (1-0)
    at L.A. Clippers (0-1), 7:30 p.m. TNT

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    AN INSTANT SPLASH

    Warriors guard Klay Thompson opened the season on fire Wednesday, scoring 38 points (all in the first three quarters) in the easy win. Here's a look at his numbers: