L.A. Lakers 89, L.A. Clippers 87
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 11 (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant
let everybody know that the
Lakers are still the best team in Tinseltown.
Bryant scored 37 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Corey Maggette
's potential game-tying shot at the buzzer rimmed out as
the Lakers continued to dominate the crosstown Clippers, 89-87.
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After playing every minute of the first three quarters, Bryant
was on the bench at the start of the fourth period and watched
score seven of his 15 points in an 8-0 run that
put the Clippers ahead, 79-75, with 8:48 remaining.
"I think it is a growing process when I come off the floor,"
Bryant said. "I have full confidence in our team to go out there
Bryant came off the bench and hit back-to-back jumpers over
Simmons to tie it and added a 3-pointer in a 9-1 spurt that gave
the Lakers an 84-80 lead with five minutes left.
' driving layup cut the deficit to 89-87 with 1˝ minutes to play, and after Bryant missed a long jumper with 11
seconds remaining, the Clippers had a chance to send the contest
Maggette dribbled across the lane and threw up a running
one-hander off the glass that went halfway down before bouncing
out as time expired.
"That's a go-to play and it was there," Maggette said. "I hit
the angle and it came out. That's a tough one. I'm glad coach
had confidence in me but we just fell short."
"Corey had a good look and it looked like it was going in,"
Bryant said. "Fortunately for us it rattled around and came
The Clippers (11-8) entered the contest with their best start in
more than a decade but lost for the second time to the Lakers. The
Lakers have won 26 of the last 29 matchups with their intracity
rivals, including nine of 11 as the road team at the Staples
"They are a good team," former Clipper Lamar Odom
compete. And yeah, you could call it a rivalry. It's always
going to be a game. They have a lot of athletes and they are
Maggette scored 27 points and Mikki Moore
, starting for the
suspended Elton Brand
, had 18 and a career-high 14 rebounds for
"Mikki Moore played well," Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich
"He is a good player and he plays with a lot of intensity. He
really got to the boards tonight."
Kittles, who was acquired from the New Jersey Nets in the
offseason, added 15 points in his return to the Clippers' lineup
after recovering from a sore right knee.
"It's going to take a while to adjust to playing with these
guys," Kittles said. "I have to find my niche within the team.
But overall it's still the game of basketball and if I'm healthy
I should be able to go out there and do some positive things."
Odom scored eight of his 19 points in the third quarter to give
the Lakers a 73-70 advantage heading into the final period.
Bryant and Odom combined to score 29 of the Lakers' 36 points in
the second half.
"We finished the game off," said Odom, who also had 12 rebounds.
"If they had come down and hit a three we'd be in here talking
about how we lost the game. That last shot looked like it was in
but he was falling back and it had a lot of english, which must
have taken it off the rim."