Notebook: Clippers 125, Lakers 101



Posted Feb 15, 2013 2:18 AM

Dan Arritt, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Though the Clippers are still getting used to this winning thing, they're wise enough to realize a fast start can work just as well as a fantastic finish. A night after scoring 46 points in the opening quarter -- the NBA's highest-scoring quarter this season -- the Clippers scored the game's first 15 points against the Lakers, building a lead they'd never relinquish in the 125-101 victory at Staples Center.

THE STAT: In scoring their most points in more than two years, the Clippers clinched their first season series against the Lakers since the 1992-93 season. They made a season-high 16 baskets from 3-point range, getting there on 30 attempts.

QUOTABLE: "Of course we want to get off to a good start, but it doesn't always happen."
-- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro

TURNING POINT: The Lakers did an admirable job nearly pulling out of the early hole. They cut the deficit to three on four different occasions during the second quarter but Chauncey Billups scored eight points in an 11-0 burst and Matt Barnes closed the first half with another 3-pointer to push the lead back to 64-42. Another 3 by Caron Butler at the start of the third pushed the lead to 14 and three more from beyond the arc by Billups over the next three minutes extended the lead to 17. The Lakers never got closer than 16 the rest of the way.

HOT: The Clippers were a dangerous team long before Billups got healthy. Now that the 16-year veteran is feeling right again, L.A. is soaring to another level. Billups shot 5-for-7 from 3-point range and scored 21 points. In the four games he has played since coming off his second stint on the injured list, Billups is shooting 12-for-24 from beyond the arc. Lakers fans are certainly aware of the damage Billups can cause. He averaged 21 points against L.A. on his way to winning the 2004 NBA Finals MVP as a member of the Pistons.

QUOTABLE II: "Chauncey was shooting really well and that gives us another whole dimension."
-- Vinny Del Negro

NOT: The raw numbers would indicate Kobe Bryant had a good game. He finished with 20 points on 7-for-13 shooting, dished out 11 assists and took five rebounds. But the Lakers were outscored by 35 points while he was on the floor and Bryant committed six turnovers, just two days after he recorded eight giveaways in a win against the visiting Suns. The minus-35 was the worst of his 17-year career. The Lakers ended up allowing a season high for 3-pointers and suffered their worst loss since falling to San Antonio by 24 points last April.

GOOD MOVE: The Lakers got a nice boost from their bench at the start of the second quarter, allowing them to take a large bite out of the 14-point deficit they were handed following the first quarter. Antawn Jamison scored 13 of his 17 points in the second frame, and Steve Blake dished out four of his seven assists, helping the Lakers win their only quarter of the game 35-33.

BAD MOVE: Twice in the second quarter, when the Lakers were within five points, they were called for technical fouls. Metta World Peace's reputation earned him one after he threw his arms in the air in celebration following a nine-foot jumper that cut the deficit to three. Jamison was handed a technical about four minutes later when he slammed the ball on the court after getting whistled for travelling. He came back with a 3-pointer on the next possession to cut the deficit to 50-47 with 2:33 left in the first half, but that was as close as the Lakers would get the rest of the way.

QUOTABLE III: "I wouldn't say we have any identity yet. I wouldn't say we've formed any kind of consistent understanding"
-- Lakers guard Steve Nash

NOTABLE: The Lakers are 1-9 this season against the top four teams in the Western Conference standings. ... ... Blake, a 75 percent free-throw shooter this season, missed three straight after getting fouled on a 3-point attempt during the third quarter. ... Clippers reserve forward Lamar Odom left the game in the first quarter after getting poked in the eye and did not return. ... Clippers point guard Chris Paul finished with a team-high 24 points and 13 assists for his 20th double-double this season. ... Clippers forward Blake Griffin scored the game's first 10 points and had 18 in the opening quarter before finishing with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

UP NEXT: For the Lakers, Wednesday vs. Boston, Feb. 22 vs. Portland, Feb. 24 @ Dallas. For the Clippers, Thursday vs. San Antonio, Feb. 23 vs. Utah, Feb. 26 vs. Charlotte.