GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 22 23 26 21 92
Play by Play Los Angeles Clippers 27 17 24 31 99


Late ejections mar Clippers' 99-92 win over Lakers

By GREG BEACHAM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Eric Gordon scored 30 points, Blake Griffin had 18 points and 15 rebounds after a foul-plagued start, and the Los Angeles Clippers snapped the Los Angeles Lakers' seven-game winning streak with a 99-92 victory Sunday.

Four players were ejected from this crosstown rivalry game after a scuffle under the basket with 5.7 seconds to play.

After Lamar Odom grabbed Griffin's jersey while fighting for a rebound, Baron Davis intervened and shoved Odom firmly in the chest, leading to more shoves. Odom, Griffin, Davis and Ron Artest all were ejected after the officials conferenced, a decision that visibly baffled Griffin and Artest.

Kobe Bryant had 27 points and nine rebounds, and Andrew Bynum added 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers, who couldn't keep up with the young Clippers in the fourth quarter.

Davis had 14 points and eight assists as the surging Clippers won for the fourth time in five games with yet another strong performance against the NBA's elite. Four days after beating Miami, the Clippers trailed by 12 points late in the third quarter before making a 16-3 run in the final minutes, taking the lead with 4:09 left on Griffin's layup while getting fouled.

The Clippers limited Pau Gasol to 13 points and eight rebounds before he fouled out, stopping the Lakers' roll toward their second eight-game winning streak of the season. The Lakers lost for just the second time in 11 games since Bynum returned to their starting lineup.

The Staples Center crowd largely favored the Lakers, as usual when the clubs meet in their shared arena. But the Clippers still thrived in the final minutes for their ninth win in 13 games since a 5-21 start to the season.

The Clippers have played superbly against the NBA's best teams, also beating New Orleans and San Antonio when those clubs had the league's best record before stopping Miami.

Yet the Clippers are still stuck near the bottom of the Western Conference because of their propensity for following up big wins with awful defeats, such as last Friday's loss to Golden State following Wednesday's win over the Heat.

Griffin broke Swen Nater's franchise record for consecutive double-doubles a week ago, but committed three fouls in the first half against the Lakers and didn't find a rhythm until late in the third quarter.

The rookie swiftly reached double digits in points and rebounds for the 26th straight game early in the fourth, but his streak of 14 straight games with at least 20 points ended.

The Lakers got to spend the long holiday weekend at home after winning seven games in an 11-day stretch. Bryant scored 14 points in the third quarter on a dazzling array of fallaway jumpers and drives, but the Lakers lost steam in the fourth.

Notes: The teams played a Sunday matinee because both have home games on the Monday holiday. ... Bynum got his third technical foul in the past week late in the third quarter for arguing with referee Sean Wright. ... Mariners OF Milton Bradley, a Los Angeles-area native who attended Long Beach Poly High School, watched the game from courtside. The Dodgers' Matt Kemp sat right next to the Lakers' bench.


Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited



22 Points through three quarters for both Kobe Bryant and Eric Gordon, leading their respective L.A. teams from the shooting guard position. Bryant would finish with 27 in the game, and Gordon 30 thanks to nine in the fourth quarter to lead all scorers.

15 Offensive rebounds conceded by the Lakers, due to DeAndre Jordan's seven and Ike Diogu's six, which hurt the Lakers throughout the afternoon.

13 Rebounds for Andrew Bynum in his solid game off the bench, which included 18 points and three blocks as the Lakers lost for just the second time since he returned to the starting line up 10 games earlier.

4 Ejections late in the fourth quarter, when Lamar Odom grabbed Griffin's jersey in the final seconds, then took exception to Griffin's … taking exception? … to it. Griffin, however, turned away, but Baron Davis came in and pushed Odom, igniting a fast build up of bodies. Ron Artest, who years ago had Odom's back in while the two played AAU ball together in Queens, sprinted in and tried to separate Odom from the group, but still found himself ejected along with the other three.

2 First half points for Griffin on 1-of-6 shooting, with five boards. Fortunately for the Clippers he'd turn things around in a big way late in the game, closing with 18 points (though on 20 field goal attempts) and 13 rebounds.




View More Photos


Points Bryant 8-17 FG 27
Rebounds Bynum 6 OFF 7 DEF 13
Assists Bryant 5
Steals Bryant, Odom 2
Blocks Bynum, Odom 3

POSTGAME QUOTES

Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson
Re: Loss to the Clippers
"We had poor offensive execution in the third quarter which gave them some light to get back in the ball game. We had a pretty good game going for ourselves and we just didn't take care of the ball a couple of times and they had that shot at the end of the third quarter to give them some momentum. They found something they could run to towards the end of the game. They had some three-point shots towards the end and they just played well."

Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson
Re: Ejections
"I have no idea how they make their decisions, whimsically I think. I can see Lamar [Odom] and [Blake] Griffin, but Ron [Artest], it was just ridiculous."

Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson
Re: Play of the Lakers
"I didn't like our energy. We had some things going for us, but overall I just didn't like our energy."



Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant
Re: Play of the Clippers
"We did a great job throwing them off the perimeter. Blake [Griffin] just ran right through us in the second half and we didn't put up much of a fight. He just ran through our guys and got to the basket."





Lakers Forward Lamar Odom
Re: Ejection
"He rammed me in my back, I mean there was nothing I could do. I mean I understand during the game or when we're fighting for a position…but there was 5 seconds left. It was a bad reaction. [Baron Davis] was trying to protect [Blake Griffin], it's basketball…it's basketball."







Head Coach Vinny Del Negro
Re: End of game scuffle
"Well anybody would do that. We're a team, we're a unit. Things are going to happen, it's a competitive game and emotions are out there. You have to control your emotions sometimes but you know there was five or six seconds left in the game. Things are going to happen like that with two competitive teams. We're going to stick together, fight, crawl, and grind it out together. I wouldn't expect anything different from Baron [Davis] or any other guy on the court."

Head Coach Vinny Del Negro
Re: Building off win vs. Lakers
"When you go through those experiences, it builds confidence. We have had some ups and downs in the fourth quarter, but our intensity was good. We did it more on the defensive end and with our ball movement. Those are the things that you can control. That was positive, and the more we're in these games and have these experiences as a unit, the better we will be. Sometimes it goes smoother than others but ultimately you have to make plays and make shots."

Head Coach Vinny Del Negro
Re: Play of Blake Griffin
"He was struggling a little bit with his shot. There was a timeout and he was going on the court and wasn't looking to shoot it. I told him 'Blake, when you're open you have to shoot the ball. I don't care if you miss every one. You have to play with confidence and be aggressive. I'm going to throw you the ball almost every time and you have to make plays.'"







Clippers Forward Blake Griffin

Re: Beating the Lakers
"It shows we're capable of beating good teams like them. It would be better if we would keep beating those teams and start beating everybody else as well. That's the next step for us."




Clippers Guard Eric Gordon
Re: Playing against Kobe Bryant
"He takes a lot of tough shots and he was shooting over the top of me and just making them. There's not too much you can do there. I just tried to force him to make jump shots and not let him get to the basket. On offense, you have to attack a guy like that too, make him work on defense as well as offense. "






Clippers Guard Baron Davis
Re: Blake Griffin's energy
"He plays with a chip and at the same time he plays with a tenacity that a lot of times can be misread. Veteran guys don't like being shown up. Like tonight, I think Lamar Odom got a little frustrated because Blake Griffin wouldn't stop competing. He lost his composure and that's what a lot of veteran guys do. They try to grind him and frustrate him and he continues to bring it."

Clippers Guard Baron Davis
Re: Clippers improved play
"We've just been hanging our hat on defense. We are gaining confidence in each other and figuring out how to play and win down the stretch. We have had some games that we should have won and had some minor setbacks, but each and every game that we lost, and won has ultimately been a learning experience for us."








LAKERS VS. CLIPPERS GAME PREVIEW

By ALAN FERGUSON, STATS Writer

The Los Angeles Clippers nearly pulled off a win over the Los Angeles Lakers in their first matchup this season before Derek Fisher's buzzer-beating layup finished a late rally.

While they're playing some of their best basketball lately, the Clippers on Sunday could have trouble again getting past the Lakers, who seek their second eight-game winning streak of the season.

The Clippers (13-25) held a five-point lead over their rivals with 1:14 remaining on Dec. 8, but fell 87-86. After making the go-ahead basket with 16 seconds left, DeAndre Jordan just missed in his attempt to block Fisher's shot.

That loss came during a 5-21 start for the Clippers, but they have won eight of 12 since then with young stars Blake Griffin and Eric Gordonleading the way.

Griffin has a team-record 25 consecutive double-doubles and scored at least 20 points in each of the past 14 games. Gordon's team-best 28 points on Friday at Golden State gave him four consecutive games with at least 25, but the Clippers were denied their first four-game win streak in three seasons with a 122-112 loss.

"We can't let down just because we lost this game," Gordon said. "We have some big games coming up. This is a lesson. We just have to get back to playing basketball like we were."

Getting back in the win column could prove a little difficult against the rival Lakers (30-11), who have outscored opponents by an average of 18.2 points during their current run.

Kobe Bryant, though, still saw at least one area where his team could get better after Friday's 100-88 win over New Jersey at Staples Center.

"We blew so many coverages defensively - I think it's noticeable. We held them to 42 percent from the field, so that's not bad, but we still feel like we can improve," he said.

Bryant scored 27 points to lead five players in double figures after tallying 39 in a 115-110 road victory over the Warriors on Wednesday. After shooting 10 of 19 from the floor against the Nets, Bryant has shot 47.7 percent during the Lakers' winning streak.

"I think he's got a real good game-mind going with himself. He's taking and picking his spots," coach Phil Jackson said.

Bryant has averaged 30.0 points in his last four games against the Clippers and made nine of 15 shots while scoring 24 against them on Dec. 8. Griffin had 16 points and 11 rebounds in his first game against the Lakers, and Gordon matched his best scoring performance in eight career matchups with 24 points.

The Lakers will try to match their longest winning streak when they opened the season 8-0, and while in the middle of a grueling stretch. They've notched their seven straight wins in an 11-day span and will play four games in the next five days including this contest.

"It's a huge challenge," Bryant said. "I mean, the Clippers have been playing extremely well. … They gave us a tough one last time we played them, and I'm sure Sunday will be no different."

After winning nine in a row over the Clippers, the Lakers have split the past four matchups. They played without Bryant during a 107-91 loss in last season's finale and without Pau Gasol in a 102-91 defeat on Jan. 6, 2010.


Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited



Lakers

Matt Barnes (right knee surgery) is out.
Lamar Odom (sore left shoulder) is probable.
Theo Ratliff (left knee surgery) is out.


Brian Cook (sprained right ankle) is doubtful.
Chris Kaman
(aggravated bone bruise of left ankle) is out.
Craig Smith
(herniated disc) is out.


12/08 - LAL @ LAC W 87-86
01/16 - LAL @ LAC
02/15 - LAC @ LAL
03/25 - LAC @ LAL


The Clippers are coming off a loss at Golden State Friday night but are still playing their best basketball of the season. When we saw them in early December they were starting three rookies and just trying to work Baron Davis into the lineup. Now, as we near the halfway mark of the season, Davis is in game shape and starting and veteran Ryan Gomes is starting at the 3. The Clips started the season 1-13 but have won 8 of their last 12. They are playing with great confidence and as they have had players return from injures they have a much better mix of youth/athleticism and experience. They have been getting out of the gates extremely fast having scored 30+ points in the first quarter of their last six games (including the 44 points they hung on Miami at the Staples Center on Wednesday).

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GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers lead their season series with the Clippers 1-0 after splitting last season's series with Los Angeles 2-2. The two teams have met 186 times overall and on 120 occasions since the Clippers moved to Los Angeles. The Lakers lead the all-time series 139-47 (93- 27 vs. LAC). Overall, the Lakers have lost just two season series in franchise history (1992-93 & 1974-75) to the Clippers. The Lakers are 8-2 in their last 10 games against the Clippers. At home against the Clippers, the Lakers are 18-4 all-time at STAPLES Center and have gone 8-2 in their last 10 home contests. On the road against the Clippers, the Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games as a visitor at STAPLES Center. In their most recent visit to the Clippers, Derek Fisher connected on a layup at the buzzer to give the Lakers an 87-86 victory 12/8/10. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 32-9 versus the Clippers. For the third time in the three years, the Lakers established a new largest margin of victory against the Clippers since they moved from San Diego to Los Angeles prior to the 1984-85 season, defeating the Clippers by 40 points (126-86) on 1/15/10. (previous largest margin of victories were 38 (117-79, 10/29/09) and 37 (119-82, 3/7/08). In their meeting on January 21, 2009, Andrew Bynum recorded a career-high 42 points while becoming the first Lakers player other than Kobe Bryant to record 40-plus points since 2003. In addition, Bryant posted his 16th career triple-double in that game with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. In 54 career games versus the Clippers (46 starts), Bryant is averaging 25.0 points. Additionally, Bryant has posted two 50-point games against the Clippers, most recently 4/12/07 vs. LAC (other: 50 points 1/7/06 @ LAC). With the departures of Elton Brand and Corey Maggette prior to the 2008-09 season, no Clippers remain from Lamar Odom's time with the team (1999-03). Odom averaged 15.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists in four seasons with the Clippers. Also, Lakers guard Steve Blake posted his first career triple-double (23 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists) as a member of the Clippers (4/14/10) in last year's season finale against the Lakers. Blake averaged 6.8 points and 6.1 assists in 29 games (10 starts) with the Clippers a season ago.

30 WINS AT THE MID-POINT

With their 100-88 victory over the New Jersey Nets on January 14th, the Lakers improved to 30-11 on the season, marking the third consecutive year that the Lakers reached the mid-point of their season with 30 or more wins. Last season, the Lakers held a 32-9 record halfway through the regular season, while starting 33-8 during the 2008-09 season. Over the past 10 seasons, the Sacramento Kings from 2001-02 through 2003-04 are the only other NBA team to hit the mid-way point of the season with at least 30 wins in three straight seasons. Since the NBA went to an 82 game schedule prior to the 1967-68 season, the Lakers have now hit at least 30 wins by the mid- point 14 times, including three-straight years from 1985-86 through 1987-88.*

BACK-TO-BACK
Sunday's game against the Clippers is the first of a back-to-back set with the Clippers and Thunder. This season, the Lakers are 6-2 in the first game and 7-1 in the second of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-backs came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.

A FOURTH QUARTER FIRST
Trailing by six entering the fourth quarter of their January 12th contest with Golden State, the Lakers outscored the Warriors 46-35 en route to a 115-110 victory at ORACLE Arena. The 46-point total marked the first time in franchise history (shot clock era) that the Lakers have scored 46 or more points in the fourth quarter of a road game. The last time the Lakers scored 46 or more points in any quarter on the road was on November 26, 1966 at St. Louis (48 points, first quarter). Overall, it was the Lakers highest scoring quarter since posting 46 points in the fourth quarter of a 127-99 victory 11/29/07 vs. Denver.

KOBE BRYANT LEADS ALL PLAYERS AFTER 4th ROUND OF ALL-STAR BALLOTING
On January 13th, the NBA announced its FOURTH and final returns update of 2011 NBA All-Star balloting before the official starting lineup announcement January 27th live at 7:00 pm EST on TNT. Kobe Bryant (1,757,216) continues to LEAD all players in All-Star voting, ahead of Dwight Howard (1,537,619) and LeBron James (1,518,807). Pau Gasol (851,456), who made his third All-Star team last season as a reserve, ranks 3rd among forwards in the West behind Kevin Durant (1,270,729) and Carmelo Anthony (945,720). Andrew Bynum (660,576) ranks 2nd among West centers behind Yao Ming (928,928), while Chris Paul (949,049) ranks 2nd among West guards behind Bryant. In the East, James and Amar'e Stoudemire (1,143,391) lead the forward voting, Dwyane Wade (1,499,768) and Derrick Rose (1,225,575) are the top two vote-getters at guard and Howard leads all East centers in balloting.

In each of the last three seasons, Bryant has led the Western Conference in all-star balloting. Last season, Bryant received 2,456,224 votes, finishing second overall to Cleveland's LeBron James (2,549,693). In 2008-09, he accumulated 2,805,397 votes, finishing third in overall balloting behind Dwight Howard (3,150,181) and James (2,940,823). In 2007-08, Bryant garnered 2,004,940 votes to finish fourth in overall voting behind Kevin Garnett (2,399,148), James (2,108,831) and Howard (2,066,991). In 2006-07, when he earned his second All-Star MVP, Bryant finished third overall in balloting behind James and Yao Ming. A three-time All-Star MVP (2002 Philadelphia, 2007 Las Vegas, 2009 Phoenix), Bryant is a 12-time All-Star and had started 11 consecutive All-Star games before missing last year's contest due to a sprained left ankle. Bryant, who was the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998, led all players in NBA All-Star balloting in 2003. Gasol has made three All-Star appearances (2006, 2009, 2010) and in 2009, became the 27th Laker in franchise history to be named to an All-Star team.

WIRE-TO-WIRE
With their record setting 112-57 victory vs. Cleveland on January 11th, the Lakers recorded their league-leading SEVENTH wire-to-wire win of the season. Getting to seven wire-to-wire victories in just 39 games matches the Lakers regular season total from all of last season. This season, the Lakers lead the Celtics (6), Spurs (5), Hawks (4) and Bucks (4) in wire-to-wire victories through games played 1/14/11. The Lakers other wire-to-wire victories this season came against the Warriors (10/31 vs. GS, 11/21 vs. GS), Grizzlies (11/2 vs. MEM), Wizards (12/7 vs. WAS), Pacers (12/15 @ IND) and 76ers (12/31 vs. PHI). Last year, the Lakers claimed NINE wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed); seven during the regular season and two during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City). During their previous championship run in 2008-09, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to-wire victories; nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Last season, the Lakers also lost twice in wire-to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).

FISHER NAMED 2010 "SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR" BY LOS ANGELES SPORTS COUNCIL
On January 6th, the Los Angeles Sports Council announced that Lakers guard Derek Fisher will receive the prestigious 2010 Sportsman of the Year award at the 6th annual LA Sports Awards to be held Thursday, February 24th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The LA Sports Awards are presented annually by the Los Angeles Sports Council to celebrate the greatest moments of the year in local sports. The Sportsman award is given to the local male athlete whose performance and character best exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship during the calendar year. Past Sportsman of the Year honorees include Matt Leinart (2005), Elton Brand (2006), David Beckam (2007), Kobe Bryant (2008) and Pau Gasol (2009). The awards show will be televised on FS Prime Ticket (initial airing will be February 25th).

FAN VOTING BEGINS FOR LA SPORTS AWARDS
Southern California sports fans can cast their ballot for the 2010 LA Sports Awards, the annual televised awards show celebrating the greatest sports moments of the year in the Los Angeles/Orange County area. Through balloting at www.lasports.org, fans can vote on 14 different award categories. Voting takes place through January 31; winners will be revealed during the sixth annual LA Sports Awards on Thursday, February 24 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. For voting purposes, each of the area's professional sports teams, major universities and associations has nominated its top moments from 2010 for fans to vote on. The top Lakers moments nominated include: Kobe Bryant becoming the Lakers franchise scoring leader, Phil Jackson becoming the Lakers all-time winningest coach, Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss being elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Lakers winning their 16th NBA Championship with a thrilling 83-79 win over the Boston Celtics in game 7 of the NBA Finals at STAPLES Center. To vote, go to www.lasports.org and click on the Greatest Moments icon at the top of the home page. The awards gala will be televised on Prime Ticket, with the initial airing on February 25, and will include special appearances by many of the athletes and coaches whose achievements helped make 2010 such a memorable year in sports. The awards ceremony will also feature a countdown of the year's Top 10 moments in ranked order as selected by a blue-ribbon media panel. Additionally, Derek Fisher will be receiving the prestigious 2010 Sportsman of the Year award, given yearly to the local male athlete whose performance and character best exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship during the calendar year, while the naming of Sportswoman, Coach and Sports Executive of the Year will also take place.

LAKERS HISTORIC ROUT
With their 112-57 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 11th, the Lakers established a new franchise record for fewest points allowed in the shot clock era, eclipsing the old mark of 66 established 3/12/02 vs. Charlotte. The 55-point margin of victory was the third largest in Lakers franchise history (regular season) as well as the largest league-wide since the Pacers defeated the Trail Blazers 124-59 in February of 1998. The Indiana-Portland game was the only contest in NBA history in which one team doubled up an opponent, with the Lakers falling one basket shy of becoming the second team in league history to score at least twice as many points as its opponent. The Lakers led by 51 entering the fourth quarter against Cleveland and by as many as 56 on the night, marking the first time the Lakers led by at least 50 points in a game since 1/9/04 vs. Atlanta when they defeated the Hawks 113-67 and led by as many as 53 points in the contest. For the Cavaliers, 57 points are the fewest scored in franchise history while the 55-point margin of defeat also establishes a new Cleveland franchise mark.





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