It’s no secret this season that the L.A. Clippers are far superior to their Staples Center co-tenants, but the Lakers have proven a few times here lately that they can pull a shocker every now-and-then. With recent wins over the likes of the Thunder and Suns, they’re not to be taken lightly.
Fortunately, the Clippers did not take the Lakers lightly on Sunday afternoon, crushing the lottery-bound Lakers 120-97. The Clippers led by just eight points at the half, but turned things on in the second half and left the Lakers in the dust. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul each scored 23 points to pace the Clippers, while DeAndre Jordan chipped-in with 11 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.
The Lakers got another stellar outing from Jordan Hill, who has been thriving in his recent chances without Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman in the lineup. The former lottery pick led the Lakers with 22 points and also pulled down nine boards.
The Clips outscored the Lakers 37-23 in the third quarter, and the Lakers failed to threaten from then on. J.J. Redick looked strong in his second game back, scoring 15 points on 7-11 shooting from the floor.
Kent Bazemore and Nick Young each left the game with injuries for the Lakers, adding to the already-long list of hurt players for that team. The Lakers’ lone win over the Clippers this season was the 116-103 shocker on opening night. Since then, the Clippers have outscored them by a combined 107 points in the subsequent three games.
The win moved the Clippers to 55-23 on the season, just one game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The two teams will get together on Wednesday night at Staples Center in what appears to be quite the crucial game for playoff seeding. The Clippers’ 55 wins are the second-most for a season in franchise history, with last year’s 56 being the record. With four games left, it’s safe to assume they’ll break it.
If the postseason was to begin today, the Clippers would face the Golden State Warriors in the first round. They’re clearly better than Golden State, but it’s probably not an ideal matchup. If they have the chance to climb into the No. 2 spot, it’d obviously be ideal, setting up a first round matchup against either Dallas, Memphis or Phoenix.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.