Thursday, March 6, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 142, Lakers 94
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- How long ago does opening night feel?
More than four months after the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Los Angeles Clippers by 13 points on opening night, the Clippers embarrassed the Lakers 142-94 on Thursday night. It was the largest margin of victory in Clippers history and the largest margin of defeat in Lakers history.
It was such a dominating performance that Staples Center was nearly half-empty in the fourth quarter for the Lakers' home game.
When the two teams played two months ago, the Clippers thrashed the Lakers 123-87. It's as if the Clippers are trying to prove how much of a fluke opening night was every time they take the court against their city -- and hallway -- rival.
If opening night was the high point of the Lakers' disappointing season, Thursday night was certainly the low point. For the Clippers, it was just another reminder to the Los Angeles faithful that they are the best team in town.
How it happened: After a close first quarter, the Clippers pulled away with a 44-13 second quarter and never looked back, leading by 33 at the break, 49 after the third quarter and 51 points in the fourth.
What it means: The Clippers have now won six of seven against the Lakers, with the margin of victory growing wider and wider. While the Clippers are angling for a top seeding in the West and their second straight division title, the Lakers have the worst record in the conference.
Hits:Blake Griffin had 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and now has scored at least 20 points in 21 straight games. Darren Collison had 24 points starting in place of Jamal Crawford. Chris Paul had 13 points and 11 assists, and DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 12 rebounds. In total, seven Clippers scored in double figures, and they were two points shy of having 10 players hit double figures.
Misses: Can't really nitpick too many misses on the night when the Clippers were up by 50 points in the third quarter.
Stat of the game: So many to choose from, but how about the fact the Clippers scored more points in the second quarter (44) than the Lakers scored in the first half (40)?
Up next: The Clippers will get Friday off before playing the Atlanta Hawks at home Saturday. The Hawks beat the Clippers 107-97 in their first meeting of the season, in Atlanta, as the Hawks hit 12 3-pointers and had three players score more than 20 points.