Rapid Reaction: Clippers 123, Lakers 87
January, 10, 2014
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- Many of the Los Angeles Clippers players smiled when they were asked about playing the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
As much as they’d like to say this game isn’t a rivalry and doesn’t mean more than any other game, they know that’s not entirely true. They also remember the feeling of walking off the court on opening night when the Lakers defeated the Clippers and celebrated as if they had won a title.
Not an NBA title but a city title, having reclaimed the bragging rights they lost last season. The Clippers not only took it back but added some salt to the Lakers’ wounds on Friday by beating them 123-87, going up by as many as 43 points and piling on in a game that was never close.
How it happened: Quickly. The Clippers took a 20-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Clippers ran the Lakers out of the building and created 17 turnovers in the first three quarters that led to 29 points.
What it means: Los Angeles will always be a Lakers town, but the blowout win once again gives Clippers fans bragging rights as the best team in Los Angeles. Lakers fans have been pointing to their season-opening win for more than two months now, but that seems like forever ago.
Hits: Blake Griffin was dominant in this game, scoring 33 points, hitting 12 of 15 shots, grabbing 12 rebounds and adding four assists, two blocks and four steals. J.J. Redick, in his first game in six weeks, didn’t miss a beat, scoring 19 points. Darren Collison once again proved he is more than capable of filling in as the starting point guard, finishing with 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds. DeAndre Jordan also had a monster game with 13 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks
Misses: There’s not a whole lot of misses on a night when you go up by many as 43 points, but the Clippers bench other than Jamal Crawford still leaves a lot to be desired. Crawford, who returned to the bench with Redick back in the starting lineup, finished with 11 points and six rebounds, but outside of him, the bench didn't do much until fourth quarter garbage time.
Stat of the game: There are lot of stats you can point to, but I don’t think there’s anything more impressive than the fact that the Clippers led by 42 before the end of the third quarter.
Up next: The Clippers don’t play again until Wednesday when they face the Dallas Mavericks at home. It’s a rare break for the team before it hits the road at the end of next week on a seven-game, 10-day road trip.