For the third time already this season, the Los Angeles Clippers were able to show the Los Angeles Lakers first-hand which team now runs L.A.
Chris Paul scored 24 points to go along with 13 assists as the Clippers pounded the woeful Lakers 125-101 last night at Staples Center.
It was the fourth-straight win for the Clips, who have reeled-off all four victories by at least 10 points. They’ve improved to 4-1 since getting their full complement of players back from injury last week.
For the second straight game, the first quarter may have been the difference.
One day after pouring in an astounding 46 points in the first quarter in a win over the Rockets, the Clippers outscored the Lakers 31-17 in the opening frame Thursday night, and never looked back. They led the game 15-0 at one point, before Steve Nash got the Lakers on the board with a jumper with just under seven minutes to go in the first.
Blake Griffin had 22 points and 10 rebounds, with 18 of those points coming in the first period. He scored the first 10 Clipper points.
Kobe Bryant was in distribution mode once again for the Lakers, finishing with 20 points and 11 assists.
This marks the first time in 20 years that the Clippers have won the regular season series against their in-building rivals.
The Clippers were unconscious from three-point range, as they shot a scintillating 16-30 from beyond-the-arc, good for 53 percent. Chauncey Billups, Matt Barnes, Chris Paul and Caron Butler all made at least three of their three-point attempts, with Billups converting five on his way to scoring a season-high 21 points.
The Lakers, on the other hand, made just six of their 20 attempts from deep.
They now lead the Pacific Division by seven games over the second-place Golden State Warriors, and lead the Lakers (25-29) by a comfortable 12.5 games.
The best record in Clippers franchise history was the 49-33 back in the 1974-75 season, when the club was known as the Buffalo Braves. At 39-17 already, this team should crush that old mark.
Antawn Jamison was able to help bring the Lakers back to within three points at 50-47 late in the second quarter, but eight-straight points from Billups with a Paul three-pointer sandwiched in-between extended the Clippers lead back up to 61-47, and a Barnes three put the Clips up 64-52 heading into the half.
All five Clipper starters scored in double-figures, with DeAndre Jordan contributing 11 points and 12 rebounds. Offensive rebounding was a key, as well, as the Clips picked-up 17 of their own misses, while the Lakers had just 10 offensive boards.
Both teams will now have about a week off prior to their next games, but both teams are still heavily represented at this weekend’s All-Star festivities in Houston.
The Lakers will pick it up next Wednesday when they host the Celtics, while the Clippers will welcome the Spurs into Staples Center next Thursday.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.