Late-game heroics are nothing new to the Los Angeles Lakers.
This season, late-game collapses are nothing new to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The defending champion Lakers got a layup from Derek Fisher as the buzzer sounded to beat the Clippers 87-86 as the “visitors” Staples Center Wednesday night.
The Clippers, as they did in Monday’s win over the Kings, built a double-digit third quarter lead, only to lose it late in the fourth quarter. This time, it cost them.
Eric Gordon again led all Clippers in scoring with 24, while Blake Griffin, limited due to foul trouble in the first half, finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds. It was his 10th consecutive double-double.
Trailing 85-84 with about 22 seconds left, Gordon was able to find DeAndre Jordan for a dunk to give the Clippers the lead with just three seconds remaining. Jordan finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Then, with the Clippers denying Kobe Bryant the ball, Matt Barnes inbounded to Fisher, who was able to get to his stronger left side and convert the game-winning shot in the paint. Jordan was inches from what could’ve been a game-clinching block for the Clippers.
The loss drops the Clippers to 5-18 on the season, while the Lakers improved to 16-6.
The Clips did a good job defensively on the Lakers, holding them to just 42 percent shooting from the field. Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest combined to score just 23 points. Bryant scored 24 to lead the Lakers.
However, the Clippers must have been using all of their energy on the defensive end, because they wound up shooting just 40 percent themselves.
Late turnovers were the difference in the game, as the Clippers couldn’t hang on for the victory despite holding an edge in rebounding, points in the paint and fast-break points.
Twice in the final minute, the Lakers were able to come away with steals before the Clippers could even attempt a shot, leading to back-to-back field goals from Bryant.
Reserve guard Shannon Brown picked up much of the offensive slack late in the third quarter, scoring the team’s final 11 points of the quarter all in the span of just over three minutes. He was 3-for-3 from three-point range in the period, including a 57-footer from beyond half-court as time expired to end the quarter.
He finished with 16 points in 17 minutes.
Baron Davis, who left Monday’s game late in the fourth quarter with an apparent hamstring injury, was limited to just 14 minutes of action off the bench. He scored three points and had three assists.
The Clippers will host the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday afternoon.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.