POSTGAME REPORT: Clippers 125, Lakers 101 - 2/14/13

FINAL | February 14, 2013 | STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA 
















LOS ANGELES – The moment that best characterized the Clippers, 125-101, wire-to-wire win over their so-called hallway rivals Thursday night, came as the third quarter was about to expire.

Chris Paul, who in less than 72 hours would be suiting up for the Western Conference All-Star team in Houston, dribbled to the right sideline as the clocked ticked down from 20 seconds. The Lakers had made consecutive baskets and had scraped together enough momentum to get a partisan crowd stirring.

Paul nursed the clock and launched a 3-pointer in front of the Lakers’ bench. As the shot went in, Paul froze for a moment, turned the opposite direction and pounded his fist against his chest. It gave the Clippers a 21-point lead and 101 points through three quarters.

It was the fourth win in a row for the Clippers and fifth in their last six games. It was also the third win over the Lakers (25-29), clinching the season series for the first time since 1992-93 when they won a five-game series, 3-2.

Paul had 24 points, 13 assists and two steals. His 3-pointer to close out the third was one of 16 the Clippers made on the night. The shot also sent a message after the Clippers (39-17) nearly squandered a 19-point lead two months ago as the home team.    

On Thursday they left little doubt.

The Clippers took a 15-0 lead before the Lakers made a basket, a runner by Steve Nash with 6:50 left in the period, and were up, 31-17, when the buzzer sounded. It was their fourth high-powered opening quarter in a row, including securing double-digit leads in the last three.

Against Houston it was near record-setting 46-point effort that boosted the Clippers, a day later it was the Lakers’ inability to make a basket and Blake Griffin’s inability to miss one. He scored 18 of his 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the first, matching the single-quarter high for any Clippers player this season. Griffin made outside jumpers, a left-handed jump hook over Metta World Peace and a right-handed jump hook after reverse pivoting on Dwight Howard in the post.

Even when the Lakers climbed out of their early hole, the Clippers offered a resounding response. After a corner 3-pointer by Antawn Jamison made it 50-47, the Clippers scored the next 11 points. After an 8-2 spurt in the third quarter, they countered with a barrage of shots from deep and an alley-oop from Paul to Griffin with the All-Star power forward on a dead spring up the right side of the floor.

It was the sign of what good teams, championship caliber teams, do.

From there, they poured it on, scoring 31 points or more in each of the first three quarters on their way to a season-high 125 points on the night. Chauncey Billups had 21 points. DeAndre Jordan scored 11 points with 12 rebounds and joined Paul and Griffin as one of three Clippers with double-doubles.

More to come on, including postgame reaction and quotes.



7:30 PM

7:30 PM