The Clippers continue to have the Lakers’ number.
Clippers scored a knockdown punch early by sinking 15 three-pointers in the first half. They led by 23 at the halftime break and while the Lakers did their best to fight back, the Clippers have made it 10 straight wins against the Lake Show, .
The Clips jumped out to a 9-0 start. And really, they never looked back. While the Lakers tried to keep up with the Clippers after the first, 37-30, the Clips decided to fire from afar. What I didn’t mention in the game preview was that the Clippers were 6th in three-point percentage going into Tuesday. That was the main difference in the first half and, really, the game. Clips made 15 out of 22 threes (.682) in the first 24 minutes.
Lakers did their best to chip into the lead like they did against Portland but the Clippers responded each time. LeBron James certainly did his best to will his team back into the game (more later). He even toppled over the courtside seats trying to steal a pass.
The Lakers got as close as 113-103 with under 7 minutes to go and we thought there was a chance history was going to repeat again. But the Clippers scored 8 straight stopped the Lakers’ last gasp of a rally. With a game happening tomorrow, Darvin Ham waved the white flag and the Clippers won going away.
While the Lakers ended up making 16 threes overall in the game (compared to the Clippers’ 19), they were too deep in a hole to come back. Sure, they did it against Portland but no team wants to be down 20+ points in the second half. The 6 turnovers committed by the Lakers is excellent in a game but it didn’t matter when they were down 23 points. Like I said, the Clippers at their peak is a title contender and they’re simply too good to let a big lead like that escape.
The Clippers had five players score 17 points or more; they were led by Paul George with 27 and Kawhi Leonard with 25. As for the Lakers, LeBron did pretty much everything. He scored 46 points to go along with 8 boards and 7 dimes. He also sank a career-high 9 threes just to try to keep up with the Clips. With that 40-spot, LeBron has scored 40 points against every team in the NBA. It’s a hell of an accomplishment.
As I mentioned earlier, the Lakers don’t have much time to rest as they get the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. With the loss, the Lakers fall to 13th in the West at 22-26 while the Clips went up to 5th by virtue of their win and the Mavs losing against the Wizards.
But there is some great news on the horizon. Anthony Davis could be back this week and it could be as soon as Wednesday night. And it could coincide with the Laker debut of new acquisition Rui Hachimura.
There is renewed hope for the Lakers, even with the loss. But for now, they sit at 13th place.