Rapid Reaction: Clippers 142, Lakers 94
March, 6, 2014
By Ramona Shelburne
LOS ANGELES -- It really was only 4 1/2 months ago that the Los Angeles Lakers drilled the Los Angeles Clippers on opening night to stun the NBA.
That night isn't even a memory after the way the Clippers have manhandled their in-city rivals in the two meetings since. The Clippers drilled the Lakers 142-94 Thursday night, the worst loss in Lakers history. The previous worst loss was a 46-point defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers in 1995. It was the second consecutive game the Clippers beat the Lakers by more than 35 points -- the Clippers won on Jan. 10 by 36, but this was way, way worse.
All five Clippers starters finished in double figures. Blake Griffin would've had a triple-double if he'd played more than 26 minutes. But he settled for 20 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and one earth-shattering alley–oop dunk that you'll be seeing in highlights for a while. Darren Collison led the Clippers with 24 points.
But all of these statistics are basically meaningless in a game that became a farce long before halftime.
How it happened: This one was close for a quarter. And then it really, really wasn't. The Clippers went on a 29-4 run to open the second to break this one open in embarrassing fashion. It was so over by halftime, large groups of Lakers fans started heading home. Hey, it's Thursday. "Scandal" is on.
What it means: One look at their records entering the game clued you in on how far apart these franchises are at the moment. Nothing that happened or could've happened Thursday was going to matter in the standings. Still, you can't just lose to your in-city rival by 48 points without it leaving a large welt.
Hits: Pau Gasol continues to give the Lakers veteran leadership and solid production since returning from a groin injury two weeks ago. He had 21 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes Thursday. Xavier Henry finished with 15 points in 19 minutes in only his second game back from a knee injury.
Misses: Um, everyone not named Pau Gasol or Xavier Henry. Those two players shot a combined 13-for-25 from the field (52 percent). The rest of the team shot 21-for-61 (34 percent). We'll have no further comment.
Stat of the game: 44. That's the number of points the Clippers scored in the second quarter of Thursday night's romp. The Lakers scored 40 in the first half.
Up next: The Lakers have one of the worst back-to-backs a Western Conference team can have Friday. They'll fly to Denver after Thursday’s game, drive an hour from the airport to their hotel, lose an hour because of the time difference, get to bed around 4 a.m., then try to get a little rest before playing the Nuggets on Friday night at altitude.