Friday, January 10, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 123, Lakers 87
By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- After seeing Friday night's embarrassing 123-87 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers unfold, Doc Rivers' pregame thoughts about the Los Angeles Lakers seem more depressing than hopeful, even if that wasn't the coach's intention.
"They're going to win eventually," Rivers said. "You know that. That's just the odds. They're desperate. I thought playing Boston the other night, Boston's in a losing streak and you can see as the game went on and the game was close, how desperate [they were] and it's tough to play against that. There's no doubt about that."
Nothing the Lakers did made it tough for the Clippers on Friday, as they lost for the 10th time in their past 11 games, their worst stretch since losing 13 out of 14 during the 2004-05 season.
Back then, desperation didn't help them any either, as they finished the season 34-48, marking the last time the franchise failed to qualify for the postseason.
The Staples Center video screen said it all when it focused on fans dressed in purple and gold Lakers gear making their way to the exits with six minutes still to go in the fourth quarter.
Of course, maybe the fans should be commended for staying that long. After all, the Lakers trailed by 41 points heading into the fourth and flirted with suffering the worse loss in franchise history (their 46-point drubbing in Portland in 1995 still stands).
It makes it feel as if that 116-103 win by the Lakers over the Clippers on opening night was a lifetime ago.
The question is, will it feel like another lifetime before the Lakers can make one of these games against the Clippers competitive again?
How it happened: This one was pretty much decided in the first quarter. The Clippers went up 20-9, the Lakers responded to draw to within one at 22-21 and then the Clips turned it back on to take a 43-25 lead into the second quarter, shooting 17-for-24 (70.8 percent) in the opening period in the process.
What it means: There are still 45 games left to the season and there will assuredly be plenty more nights where the Lakers come up on the losing side of the box score. The question is whether they'll be able to make games competitive and worth watching.
The Lakers had 21 turnovers leading to 37 points for the Clippers.
Stat of the game: 2-for-20. That's what the Lakers shot as a team in the third quarter as they were outscored 31-8. Yep, it got even worse after that first quarter.
Up next: The Lakers have a three-day break before their next game, Tuesday at home against Mike Brown, Earl Clark and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then it's on to their seven-game Grammy trip starting Wednesday in Phoenix.