At the start of NBA Rivals Week, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a clear defeat against their city rivals. At 133:115, the LA Clippers shoot out all the lights at first, then even a record from LeBron James is no longer enough for the Lakers to make a comeback.
Los Angeles Lakers (22-26) – LA Clippers (26-24) 115:133 (BOXSCORE)
On the one hand, James set a new personal career best with 9 converted threes in 14 attempts, on the other hand he gave the Clippers a total of 46 points. The 38-year-old has now scored at least one 40+ point against every NBA team – no other player in league history has done that before him.
In addition, LeBron put up 8 rebounds and 7 assists, but there was a lack of support. Thomas Bryant (15, 7 rebounds) and Russell Westbrook (17), who broke the 24,000 point mark, were the only other Lakers stars in double digits, with Westbrook in particular not falling the jumper (4/13 FG, 8 /13FT). Dennis Schröder also didn’t get enough (7, 3/9 FG), newcomer Rui Hachimura was still on the bench in civilian clothes.
That was not enough against the red-hot Clippers offense. LAC sank more than 60 percent from the field and exactly 50 percent from downtown (19/38), the three-point rain provided relatively clear conditions in the first half. Paul George (27, 9 rebounds) and Kawhi Leonard (25, 9 rebounds) led the Clippers, Norman Powell (22, 4/5 threes) and Reggie Jackson (19, 4/7) also showed a strong performance from the bench . The Clippers have now won ten straight games against city rivals.
The Lakers saw no reason for a change in the starting five after their furious comeback win over Portland. The Clippers also started with their usual top five – and were immediately on fire. Kawhi and George set the tone with their shotmaking, and the bank also got involved. Overall, the Clippers hit 7/13 threes in the first quarter, first James and Schröder and later Wenyen Gabriel (8) and Westbrook kept the Lakers within striking distance (30:37).