The last time these two teams met, the Lakers were nearly added to the Clippers’ list of impressive wins over quality opponents.
However, Derek Fisher had something else in mind.
The veteran guard hit a floating layup as time expired to give the defending champion Lakers an 87-86 win on December 8.
It could be argued that both L.A. teams are playing their best basketball of the season heading into this matchup.
The Lakers have won seven straight games since their mini-hiccup around the holidays, while the Clippers have won eight of their last 12 games and still retain an outside chance of nabbing the final Western Conference playoff spot.
Clippers rookie sensation Blake Griffin has recorded a double-double in 25 straight games, already a franchise record. He scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the Clippers’ 122-112 loss at Golden State Friday night.
Trailing for most of that game, the Clippers were able to battle back and eventually tied the game late in the fourth. However, consecutive three-pointers from Warriors forward Vladimir Radmanovic effectively put the game out of reach.
The Clippers enjoy more success at home than on the road (10-13 at home, 3-12 on the road). Unfortunately, they lead the league in road games the rest of the way.
The Lakers are coming off of a 100-88 win over the New Jersey Nets Friday night, and are beginning a stretch in which they’ll play four games in five nights.
A win this afternoon will match the Lakers’ longest win streak of the season.
Kobe Bryant led L.A. with 27 points while Pau Gasol chipped in 20 points and nine rebounds.
In the last meeting between the teams, the Clippers did a nice job shutting down the Lakers’ supporting cast.
Other than Bryant, who led the way with 24 points, only one other Laker scored more than 10 (Shannon Brown, who scored 16).
The Clippers’ downfall in that game (as it is in most losses) was the turnover problem.
They gave the ball away 20 times, leading to 18 Lakers points. Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe and Griffin combined for 14 of those turnovers.
Baron Davis, who is likely now playing the best basketball of his short Clippers career, played just 14 minutes in their first meeting.
Tip-off is scheduled for 12:30 PT Sunday afternoon.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.