Following his team’s loss at the hands of the Lakers Wednesday night, Clippers forward Blake Griffin insisted that there was still no rivalry between the two teams because the Lakers have been so dominant for so long.
Well, if what we’ve seen so far this season is any indication, that’s about to change.
Kobe Bryant scored 24 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists in leading the Lakers to a chippy 96-91 “home” win over the up-and-coming Clippers.
Six technical fouls (along with a flagrant) were issued in all, along with several post-play scuffles, most notably a scrum between Josh McRoberts and Reggie Evans that got McRoberts ejected from the game in the fourth.
Griffin led the Clippers with 26 points and nine rebounds, but he got little help from his teammates down-the-stretch.
Chris Paul, playing for the first time since injuring his hamstring during the last meeting with the Lakers on January 14, scored just four points on 2-8 shooting in 27 minutes. However, he was able to dish out 12 assists without turning the ball over.
Mo Williams, who had been essentially carrying the Clippers offensively without Paul for the last three games, scored 16 points, but shot just 6-16 from the field.
The Clips did lead by three entering the fourth, but several miscues on both ends of the floor late in the game (capped by a three-pointer by Metta World Peace) ultimately spelled doom. World Peace is now 6-38 on three-pointers this season. The “road” loss drops them to just 1-4 away from home this season, and 9-6 overall.
The Lakers got a big boost off-the-bench from rookie guard Andrew Goudelock, who chipped in with a career-high 14 points. He had scored 10 points total on the season prior to this effort.
Pau Gasol, who was a key piece in the league-nixed trade that would’ve brought Paul to the Lakers prior to the season, scored 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds. The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Lakers.
The Clippers will have to move on from the loss rather quickly, as they host the surging Memphis Grizzlies Thursday night at Staples Center.
The Lakers will head to Milwaukee to face the Bucks Saturday night.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.