Add the Lakers to the list of top-tier teams that have been defeated by the Los Angeles Clippers so far this season.
The Clippers halted the defending champs’ seven-game winning streak 99-92 Sunday afternoon at Staples Center.
Blake Griffin scored 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in notching his 26th consecutive double-double, and 32nd in 41 games this season.
Due to foul trouble, he was able to play just 14 minutes in the first half, scoring two points.
Eric Gordon and Baron Davis were forced to almost completely carry the Clippers offensively due to Griffin’s absence and relative ineffectiveness.
Gordon finished with a game-high 30 points on 13-20 shooting from the floor. Davis chipped in with 14 points and eight assists.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 27 points, including 14 in the third quarter alone. The Lakers got off to a hot start right out of haltime, and led by as much as 10 midway through the period.
Faced with a similar ominous scenario in the past, the Clippers may have folded down the stretch and accepted defeat.
However, they battled back, and a short flurry capped off by an Eric Gordon double-clutch three-pointer from the corner as time expired brought the Clippers to within three headed into the final quarter.
Griffin was held to just two points up until the 2:31 mark of the third, before hitting a pair of free throws and scoring on two consecutive possessions as a part of the Clippers’ rally to close the period.
All-Star forward Pau Gasol struggled for the second time in as many games this season against the Clippers.
He finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, but scored just two after the half.
Andrew Bynum helped pick up the slack, scoring 18 points with 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in his most complete effort of the season. He’s played in just 17 games due to offseason knee surgery.
The Clippers, who have choked away several games this season due to untimely turnovers down the stretch, played within themselves today, turning the ball over just 11 times, leading to nine Laker points.
They outscored the Lakers 31-21 in the fourth.
With the Clippers leading by nine in the final seconds, a minor scrum broke out between Griffin and Lamar Odom following a Randy Foye free throw.
Griffin appeared to be preparing to go for the rebound should the shot have missed, before Odom grabbed him by the jersey and dragged him out of bounds. The two exchanged words before being separated.
Griffin, Odom, Davis and Ron Artest were all ejected.
The Clippers (14-25) will host the Indiana Pacers Monday afternoon at Staples Center, while the Lakers will welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder into town Monday evening.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.