Sunday, April 6, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 120, Lakers 97
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- There was a time when saying the Clippers were the best team in Los Angeles was blasphemous. When the Clippers blowing out the Lakers was big news. When the Lakers getting ready for the NBA draft lottery while the Clippers got ready for the NBA playoffs seemed unheard of.
Those days are a distant memory and were further pushed into the past after the Clippers' 120-97 win over the Lakers on Sunday. After the Lakers upset the Clippers in the season opener, the Clippers defeated the Lakers in their last three meetings by an average margin of 35.7 points.
The Clippers have now won the season series against the Lakers for the second consecutive season. Before 2012-13, the Clippers had won the season series against the Lakers in only two of their first 42 years of existence.
How it happened: Despite having only seven healthy players for the majority of the game, the Lakers stayed competitive in the first half, even taking the lead in the second quarter before the Clippers went up by 13 and never looked back. They led by as many as 24 and rested their starters in the fourth quarter.
What it means: The Clippers won the season series against the Lakers for the second year in a row in addition to winning back-to-back Pacific Division titles. The Clippers are now just 1½ games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 2 seed in the West and play the Thunder in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Hits:Chris Paul had 23 points and six assists in 28 minutes, and Blake Griffin had 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes. J.J. Redick returned to the starting lineup for the first time in 26 games and scored 15 points. DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Misses: No real misses on the day except for the Clippers' 17 turnovers, which led to 24 Lakers points.
Stat of the game: The Clippers hit 10 of 19 3-pointers and are 34-1 this season when making at least nine 3-pointers.
Up next: The Clippers have a couple of days off before facing Oklahoma City on Wednesday. If the Clippers win, they will make up a game on the Thunder and hold the tiebreaker, which could decide which team gets the second seed in the Western Conference.