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Box Score Los Angeles Clippers 22 27 23 25 97
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 23 17 33 18 91

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Clippers beat winless Lakers 97-91 in preseason


Posted Oct 25 2012 1:10AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Eric Bledsoe scored 22 points, Matt Barnes added 18 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Lakers 97-91 on Wednesday night, keeping their Staples Center co-tenant winless in seven preseason games.

Blake Griffin had 15 points for the Clippers on a night when both teams' All-Star guards sat out.

Kobe Bryant missed his second preseason game with a strained and bruised right foot, and Chris Paul rested after being hit accidentally by a teammate in practice. Bryant won't play in the Lakers' final exhibition against Sacramento on Thursday night in San Diego, while Paul will play the Clippers' finale in Denver that night. Pau Gasol led six Lakers in double figures with 17 points. Rookie Robert Sacre of Gonzaga, starting in place of Dwight Howard, and Metta World Peace had 13 each. Jordan Hill added 12. Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks, who started in place of Bryant, had 11 each.

Lakers coach Mike Brown said he wanted to rest Howard, who was recovering from general soreness after his team debut on Sunday.

The Clippers opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run, including four by Bledsoe, to take an 80-73 lead. Blake hit a 3-pointer that drew the Lakers within one before rookie Travis Leslie ran off six in a row to keep the Clippers ahead 91-86.

Former UCLA player Ryan Hollins made consecutive baskets, extending the Clippers' lead to 95-88. World Peace missed two 3-point attempts on the same possession and then Blake lost the ball with a bad pass in the closing 2 minutes.

Both teams tried numerous lineup combinations during the game, with the Clippers resting Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom and Grant Hill. Chauncey Billups is still a ways away from returning after a torn Achilles tendon.

The Lakers led 68-60 with less than 5 minutes to go in the third. The Clippers' second unit outscored them 12-6, including five each by Barnes and Willie Green, to trail 73-72 going into the fourth.

Paced by 10 points each from Griffin, Bledsoe and Barnes, the Clippers led 49-40 at halftime.

NOTES: Howard wore a three-piece suit on the bench, while Bryant didn't sit with the Lakers, but was in the building. ... The Clippers beat the Lakers twice when they met during last year's lockout-shortened preseason in December. ... Rapper-actor Common and former NFL star Terrell Owens attended as part of the sellout crowd of 19,060.

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Points (Clippers) Bledsoe, 22
Rebounds Gasol/Hill, 8
Assists (Clippers) Bledsoe, 11
Steals (Clippers) Bledsoe, 9
Blocks (Clippers) Bledsoe, 2


Mike Brown:

On overall team performance:
“I thought at times we played some good stretches of defense. We scored 33 points off of 22 turnovers, and they scored 22 second chance points off of rebounds. Our half-court defense at times is pretty good but we’re still not boxing out like we should, and turning the ball over and our opponents are taking advantage of it.”

Robert Sacre:

On cutting down on turnovers
“We need to focus and dial in on what we need to do and just keep getting better. I think we are doing that, even though it doesn’t show in the final score, but we are learning to play with each other and obviously we haven’t got everybody back healthy. So once we start getting everybody back in the right rotation, I think we will be just fine.”

On improving his game
“I just have to work on shortening the bad things. You’re going to have good experiences and you’re going to have terrible experiences, I just have to limit my mistakes and keep getting better and learn from them.”

Steve Blake:

On team performance:
“It’s definitely a work in progress, we definitely made some mistakes, too many turnovers. We executed a couple of nice plays but it’s one of those games where we haven’t really played a team that’s so aggressive. It was a learning process.”

Vinny Del Negro:

On energy from the bench:
“Ryan [Hollins], Matt [Barnes], and Ronny [Turiaf] are all energy guys. It’s good to see the energy and enthusiasm out there. That’s what we’re going to need. Some of those guys’ minutes will be inconsistent at times, but they’ll still have to come out and be professional. What’s best for the team is the most important thing. I have confidence in those guys as players and their character to handle everything that is thrown at them this year.”

On keeping the Lakers winless:
“I don’t worry about anyone but us. We’re trying to manage the minutes the right way with a back-to-back coming up. We had a lot of guys out and so did they, so I didn’t put a lot of stock in the outcome of this game. I was able to give some guys that don’t get as many minutes some quality playing time as well.”

On Eric Bledsoe's Play:
“I kept asking if he was tired and he said ‘No, I’m good’. He’s young, athletic and we took some timeouts to give him a rest. We probably could have played Hank Thorns more minutes because he played well in the first half but Bledsoe had it going. He had nine steals, 22 points and 11 assists. I didn’t see any fatigue in him so I thought it was only right to let him finish the game.”

DeAndre Jordan:

On play of guard Eric Bledsoe:
“He’s so athletic. He finds the ball [whether on] offense or defense. He just has a knack for being in the passing lanes and snapping back on the guys in the post and on the elbows. He’s kind of like Darrell Revis. He played great tonight."

On tomorrow night's game vs. Denver:
“Those guys [in Denver] are going to be running and gunning tomorrow. We’ve got to get our rest and be ready to come out tomorrow.”

Eric Bledsoe:

On his quickness:
“I use [it] to my advantage, I’m able to cover two players real fast. I always go for it, and if I don’t get it, I get back to my man as quick as possible.”

On preparing for a back to back game:
“It’s the NBA. It’s something you have to do. Chris [Paul] should play tomorrow, so that should help me out.”

On the team's success tonight:
“How our team played as a unit was a big factor tonight and DeAndre Jordan playing within his role, and playing big helped us out. We also played very good defense. Blake stepped up big for us tonight.”

Matt Barnes:

On Eric Bledsoe's progression
“Eric [Bledsoe] has been incredible this season, so far, and he’s just learning the game right now, too. When he plays with that level of aggression, we are a hard team to stop, considering we have the best point guard in the NBA and we have Eric [Bledsoe] coming off of the bench.”

On team depth:
“This is one of the strongest teams I have ever been a part of, and we’re not even healthy yet. This is by far the deepest team, period, that I have ever played on. Our depth is going to be one of our major strengths this season.”