GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Clippers 31 19 17 28 95
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 30 22 33 23 108


Lakers rout Clippers with Kobe's 18-point quarter

By GREG BEACHAM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 18 of his 24 points in the third quarter, Pau Gasol added 22 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers won their third game in four days out of the All-Star break, beating the weary Los Angeles Clippers 108-95 Friday night.

Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 11 rebounds in another breezy win for the Lakers, who had lost three straight before co-hosting the All-Star weekend with their cross-hallway rivals.

Bryant went to the locker room two minutes before halftime after hurting his right elbow. The All-Star game MVP returned with a monster third quarter, outscoring the Clippers all by himself.

Randy Foye scored 24 points while hitting five 3-pointers for the Clippers, who finally finished an 11-game road trip with nine losses.

Blake Griffin had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Clippers wrapped up the longest road trip for any NBA team this season - a trip that's thought to be the second-longest in league history.

Clippers rookie Eric Bledsoe struggled in place of traded point guard Baron Davis, managing just eight points on 2-for-11 shooting and eight assists.

Griffin had another high-energy game in the same arena where he jumped over a car last weekend, but couldn't stop the two-time defending NBA champions from leaping past them in the second half.

Bryant went to the Lakers' bench grimacing after fouling Foye on a 3-point attempt with 3:03 left in the first half, and he went to the locker room after a brief chat with trainer Gary Vitti.

But Bryant led an 11-2 run in the third quarter with four jumpers, including a 3-pointer that put the Lakers up 76-62. Bryant was relentless, getting two more baskets in the final seconds and making a final dunk just after the buzzer sounded.

Bryant and Gasol took the fourth quarter off, getting plenty of rest for Sunday's road showdown with revamped Oklahoma City.

Bryant also got hit on his left hand while getting fouled by Foye in the first quarter. He has played through numerous hand injuries in recent years, including an arthritic finger that bothered him last season.

After spending most of the month away while the Grammys and the All-Stars occupied Staples Center, the Clippers will play their first home game since Feb. 2 on Saturday night - but it's against the Boston Celtics, giving them back-to-back games against both defending conference champions to cap a stretch of four games in five days after the break.

What's more, new Clippers Mo Williams and Jamario Moon were in the building, but they can't play until Davis takes his physical in Cleveland to complete Los Angeles' trade with the Cavaliers.

NOTES: The Lakers have won two of three against the Clippers. Their season series ends next month. ... Clippers G Eric Gordon said he hopes to play next week, but isn't certain when he'll suit up again. The 24.1-points-per-game scorer has been out since Jan. 25 with a sprained right wrist and a small broken bone in the same joint. ... The Clippers have won nine of their last 10 home games. ... Fans near courtside included Steve Carell, Heather Locklear, Dr. Drew Pinsky and director Adam McKay.


Copyright 2011 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




27,313 Career points for Elvin Hayes, the NBA's seventh all-time leading scorer, at least for another game. Kobe Bryant, after all, is now just 11 points away from surpassing Hayes.

38 Total points for the Clippers in the second and third quarters, when the Lakers stepped their defense up to the level it reached in back-to-back wins out of the All-Star break over Atlanta and Portland.

18 Points in the third quarter for Bryant, who made eight of his 11 field goal attempts including two three-pointers, adding three assists to account for 24 of L.A.'s 33 points, seven more than the Clips' 17 in the period.

11 Missed field goals for Clips rookie Blake Griffin, who made only 7-of-18 shots (38.9 percent) while mostly settling for jumpers. Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol played off him, encouraging the perimeter shots.

1 Shot missed by Pau Gasol, who was 8-of-9 from the field and 6-of-6 at the foul line for 22 points, second to Bryant's 24.




View More Photos


Points Bryant 24, 10-16 FG
Rebounds Bynum 11, 6 OFF 5 DEF
Assists Bryant 5
Steals Brown 3
Blocks Gasol 2


POSTGAME QUOTES


Lakers coach Phil Jackson on Kobe Bryant minor injury:
"He's got some radiating issues down his arm, but he'll be alright."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the teams' third quarter performance:
"I thought our defense improved after the first quarter. We were pretty disappointed in how we played in the first quarter. We started playing some defense out there."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on Andrew Bynum's performance tonight:
"Andrew [Bynum] knows it's a challenge and [DeAndre] Jordan played a match-up and I thought he played pretty well tonight."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on what was said at half time to the Lakers:

"We talked about who wants this game more. Seems like sometimes when we play our cross town rivals they are more energized at the game than we are. And I thought that happened in the first half; we weren't as active as I like to see."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the Clippers shooting 38% tonight:
"I thought we kept them outside, they hit a lot of three's to start the game…but I thought we played pretty well."






Lakers' Shannon Brown on what has been different since coming back from the All-Star break:
"We're executing our game plan, moving the ball, doing the things that we do to win. It's not about individuals, it's about the whole team and everyone's been on the same page for the most part."

Lakers' Shannon Brown on what the team discussed at half time:
"They were getting a lot of threes, half of their points were threes, and wide open threes, so we talked about our rotations and our timing on things, getting out to the shooters, running them off their shots. I think we did a great job on offense so, we had to , you know, pinpoint a couple more things, but it was just about bringing the energy and keeping that effort up."

Lakers' Shannon Brown on Sunday's game against Oklahoma City Thunder:
"We expect another dog fight. They're a good team, young, up and coming team that like to run, get out and have fun. They made trades that could possibly benefit them. So we expect a dog fight. We're going to get in tomorrow, work, get back in the lab and watch film and get ready for the game."



Lakers' Pau Gasol on what has changed since the team's loss in Cleveland:
"Well, it's the difference of we're getting down to the twenty last games of the season. We want to position ourselves well in the playoff spotting, and you know we understand that. So we have to tighten up in that sense of urgency, and understanding where we're at in the season probably makes us be a little more focused and a little more aggressive."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on how he defended Blake Griffin:
"Just try to stay with his body, stay straight in front of him. Contest his shots, he did get a few jumpers but most important was to not give him anything easy down the lane or inside the lane where he's really effective…"





Lakers' Kobe Bryant on his 8-of-11 shooting performance in the third quarter and his elbow:
"Well, I mean I've been playing basketball since I was two. I can shoot the ball different ways. You know, I don't have to shoot it like I normally shoot it, I can shorten it up."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on how his team pulled away in the third quarter:
"I felt defensively we were incredible in that quarter…we held them to 17 points in that quarter. We really turned it up defensively."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on his elbow injury:
"I've had it before. I had it in Sacramento [last year]…I was fine tonight, I'll be fine Sunday."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on what he's looking for in the matchup Sunday vs. Oklahoma City and Kendrick Perkins:
"Just win the game. I'm not sure how they're going to use him [Perkins]. You know how I feel about Perk, how much respect I have for him defensively on the floor and how he plays."



Clippers' Coach Vinny Del Negro on the difference in tonight's game:
"Kobe took it over. He made some tough shots and got us back on our heels and they got some momentum. We didn't shoot the ball well enough from the field to put any real pressure on them. We rebounded well kept our turnovers down and made some free-throws but overall the game was tight and then Kobe made some tough shots, got them a nice cushion, they got some confidence and then we just couldn't shoot well enough and make enough plays offensively."

Clippers' Coach Vinny Del Negro on focusing on the game despite trades and injuries:
"Well, you know, you don't give them a break. The other guys need to step up and play but we're not whole right now as a team. Chris [Kaman] is just coming back and we have our starting backcourt out so we're not whole we have a long way to go in terms of getting everybody on the same page with the things we've been dealing with injury wise and with the trade and stuff. We just got to get everybody on the same page as quick as possible and then see exactly what we have."

Clippers' Coach Vinny Del Negro on the Clippers' schedule:
"You can't use excuses, tired legs. We've got a lot of young guys. The games are scheduled you have to play them – it's the NBA."

Clippers' Coach Vinny Del Negro on figuring out the Clippers' rotation:
"I try to get Chris back in, Eric [Bledsoe's] been out, Baron [Davis] was out early, and now the trade and we're trying to develop young players so we've really never got to a consistent bench rotation, which I always like to do but that hasn't been available to us."

Clippers' Coach Vinny Del Negro on being back at STAPLES Center after a long road-trip:
"It always helps to be back home but it's still a road game with their crowd but looking forward to tomorrow night we have a home game but no easy one's – Boston's coming in so the schedule hasn't been in our favor with everything we've had to deal with but like I said their scheduled and we've got to get ready to play tomorrow."





Aaron BrooksClippers forward Blake Griffin on if several different Lakers guarding him slowed him down:
"I just didn't hit some shots that I normally hit. As a team, Randy [Foye] is the only one who really shot a high percentage. But it happens."

Clippers forward Blake Griffin on the Clippers hot start shooting, and then slowing down:
"You just have to keep shooting. You can't stop shooting. It happens, but we just have to make a change defensively, and make sure we lock down and not give up too many easy points."

Clippers forward Blake Griffin on defending Kobe when he is in a rhythm:
"You just try to slow it down and try to get in his way and try to alter shots. I thought we did a poor job of getting in his way a little bit and making it tougher. A lot of those shots he had were uncontested and he hit them. You got to give him credit."






Aaron BrooksClippers guard Randy Foye on tonight's game:
"We played pretty well. We were a little short-handed in the backcourt but no matter who you put out there, you have to come together as five and play hard."

Clippers guard Randy Foye on Kobe's hot shooting in the third quarter:
"He made tough shots. That's what he does. He's been doing it forever. He just knocked down tough shots."






Aaron BrooksClippers center Deandre Jordan on banging down low with Pau and Bynum:
"I love it. I love playing against those guys, especially those two. They're big tough guys. They're obviously on a championship team and Pau's an All-Star. I think it's a big challenge for Blake and I, especially being young. Every time we go against them, we give it all we have and they definitely know that we are there."

Clippers center Deandre Jordan on Kobe's hot shooting in the third quarter:
"I guess you try to contest every time and try to get a hand up. When he's like that, there is really nothing you can do but try to stay with him and get a hand up every time he shoots the ball."













LAKERS VS. CLIPPERS GAME PREVIEW

By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN, STATS Senior Writer

As superstars for their respective Los Angeles teams, Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin were very complimentary of each other during All-Star weekend. It's safe to say the feelings may not be the same between Griffin and Bryant's Lakers teammate, Lamar Odom.

The Staples Center co-tenants had a feisty confrontation in their most recent meeting last month, and the Clippers will have an entirely different backcourt Friday night after trading Baron Davis.

Bryant and Griffin were the headliners during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. Griffin won the slam dunk contest and Bryant earned his fourth All-Star game MVP award while also praising his younger counterpart.

"I love Blake, man," Bryant said. "This summer, I got a chance to get to know him a little bit because we were doing therapy at the same place, so we were sitting next to each other most of the time and got a chance to kind of talk, when nobody is around."

Odom probably feels differently. Odom, Griffin, Davis and Ron Artestwere all ejected near the end of the Clippers' 99-92 victory Jan. 16.

With 5.7 seconds left, Griffin slammed aggressively into Odom's back while seeking position for a possible rebound. Odom grabbed Griffin's jersey and verbally expressed his displeasure.

"Maybe I overreacted, but I just feel like if you're up 9, a ram in the back at that point?" Odom said after the game. "Any other time, I get it. You play hard, you're strong, whatever, but the ram in the back (while) up 9? I don't get it, so I'm just going to have to react."

Griffin ducked his head and tried to walk away from the confrontation. That's when Davis shoved Odom firmly in the chest, leading to both teams circling under the hoop.

"There's never a situation where I'm not going to go to the glass," Griffin said. "I would think of all people, (Odom) would know that."

The Clippers got 30 points from Eric Gordon and 14 from Davis in that game, but neither will play Friday. Gordon remains out with a sprained right wrist while Davis and a 2011 first-round draft pick were traded to Cleveland on Thursday for guard Mo Williams and forward Jamario Moon.

"Mo Williams is a 28-year-old All-Star whose skill set not only complements our frontcourt players but is an excellent running mate with Eric Gordon on both ends of the floor," vice president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said. "Jamario is an elite athlete that can play multiple positions and will help us improve defensively."

It's not clear if Williams and Moon will be available Friday for the Clippers, who have not played at Staples Center since Feb. 2 and are coming off back-to-back losses to Oklahoma City and New Orleans. They have consecutive games against the NBA finalists this weekend, hosting Boston on Saturday.

The Lakers have captured both games since the All-Star break, winning 106-101 in overtime at Portland on Wednesday. Bryant scored 37 points to help his team rally from 10 down with 5:49 left in the fourth quarter.

"This was truly a playoff type of test, because of the crowd and things weren't going our way," Bryant said.

The Clippers have won three of the last five meetings with the Lakers, who will be the home team Friday. The Lakers have won the last six home matchups.



Copyright 2011 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.
Theo Ratliff
(left knee surgery) is out.

Eric Gordon (sprained right wrist/small bone chip fracture - right wrist) is out.



12/08 - LAL @ LAC W 87-86
01/16 - LAL @ LAC L 92-99
02/25 - LAC @ LAL
03/25 - LAC @ LAL


This game will be the Clippers eleventh consecutive road game although it will be in familiar territory. Their record through the first ten is 2-8. Baron Davis was traded to Cleveland for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon but neither of those players is expected to play tonight. Eric Gordon is also questionable due to an injured wrist. The last time we played the Clips they beat us 99-92. They won the 4th quarter of that game 31-21 but the game really turned in their favor when we couldn't close out the third quarter the right way. It is often said in NBA circles that the really good teams know how to close out quarters and games. In that game we slipped and let the Clippers erase what was a 12 point lead with just under three minutes left in the third and by the end of the quarter we were holding on to a 3 point lead (71-68). There were some other areas of concern from that contest. The Clippers hurt us with second chance points and fast break points – especially in the first half. The Clippers ended up with 44 points in the paint to our 34 and they out-rebounded us 50-45. We must win those kind of 'trench battles' if we want to be successful. Our 14 turnovers led to 28 points for the Clips so there are clearly some statistical battles we need to win this time.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers and Clippers have split the first two games of their season series 1-1 with two games to remaining after splitting last season's series 2-2. The two teams have met 187 times overall and on 121 occasions since the Clippers moved to Los Angeles. The Lakers lead the all-time series 139-48 (93-28 vs. LAC). Overall, the Lakers have lost just two season series in franchise history (1992-93 & 1974-75) to the Clippers. The Lakers are 7-3 overall in their last 10 games against the Clippers. The Lakers are 18-4 all-time against the Clippers in home games at STAPLES Center and have gone 8-2 in their last 10 home contests. On the road against the Clippers, the Lakers are 5-5 in their last 10 games as a visitor at STAPLES Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 32-10 versus the Clippers. In their first meeting this season, Derek Fisher connected on a layup at the buzzer to give the Lakers an 87-86 victory 12/8/10. Last season, for the third time in as many 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 55 career games versus the Clippers (47 starts), Bryant is averaging 25.1 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). Lamar Odom played for the Clippers from 1999-2003, averaging 15.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists. 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.

BRYANT 34 POINTS SHY OF ELVIN HAYES FOR 7th ON NBA'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
With 37 points in the Lakers overtime victory 2/23 at Portland, Kobe Bryant moved within 34 points of Elvin Hayes (27,313) on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Earlier this season, Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10 at Chicago on the all-time list. At his current pace (25.2 ppg), Bryant (27,279) is poised to move into 6th on the all-time list by season's end. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant and Hayes (7th/27,313) are Moses Malone (6th/27,409) and Shaquille O'Neal (5th/28,590). Among the top eight scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st), Karl Malone (2nd), Wilt Chamberlain (4th), O'Neal (5th) and Bryant (8th)).
Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. Earlier this season, with 23 points at Chicago (12/10/10), he passed John Havlicek (26,395) for 11th. Last season, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West's retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).

WIRE-TO-WIRE
With their 104-80 victory vs. Atlanta on February 22nd, the Lakers recorded their league-leading NINTH wire-to-wire win of the season. Getting to seven wire-to-wire victories in just 39 games matched the Lakers regular season total from all of last season, while their eighth in 46 games surpassed that total. This season, the Lakers (9) lead the NBA in wire-to-wire victories, followed by the Celtics (7), Heat (7), Spurs (6) and Nuggets (6) through games played 2/23/11. 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), 76ers (12/31 vs. PHI), Cavaliers (1/11 vs. CLE) and Jazz (1/25 vs. Utah). 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).

BACK-TO-BACK
This season, the Lakers are 8-4 in the first game and 9-3 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.

BRYANT EARNS RECORD 4TH ALL-STAR GAME MVP
On February 21st, Kobe Bryant was named MVP of the 60th NBA All-Star Game at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. With a game-high 37 points, game-high 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals, Bryant's MVP performance tied him with Bob Pettit (4) for the most NBA All-Star Game MVP awards in league history, surpassing Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal and Oscar Robertson (3). In earning the honor, Bryant became the 7th player in the last 44 years to be named MVP of an All-Star game that was played in his own home arena, joining Jerry West (1972, Great Western Forum), Michael Jordan (1988, Chicago Stadium), Karl Malone & John Stockton (co-MVPs in 1993, Delta Center) and Shaquille O'Neal, who did it twice (2004, STAPLES Center & 2009, US Airways Center). Bryant's 37 points were tied for the 4th most points scored in All-Star Game history with Kevin Garnett (2003), trailing only Wilt Chamberlain (42 points, 1962), Jordan (40 points, 1988) and Rick Barry (38 points, 1967).

Additionally, Bryant's 37-point night and Kevin Durant's 34-point effort marked just the second time that two All-Stars on the same team scored 30-or-more points in the same game. The only other time that happened was in the 1977 game when Julius Erving and Bob McAdoo each scored 30 points for the Eastern Conference. Also, Bryant and Tim Duncan appeared on the same side in an All-Star game for the 12th time on Sunday night, marking the most appearances in an All-Star game as teammates for any two players in NBA history, surpassing Dolph Schayes and Bob Cousy (11 All-Star appearances as teammates).*

STRONG ALL-STAR SHOWING FOR GASOL

With an All-Star Game career-high 17 points (8-13 FG), seven rebounds and two blocks, Pau Gasol helped the West hang on down the stretch for a 148-143 victory over the East in the 60th NBA All-Star Game at STAPLES Center. Logging the most minutes of any Eastern or Western Conference reserve (24:22), Gasol posted the game's second highest plus/minus with +10, equaling Atlanta guard Joe Johnson's +10 and one behind Denver forward Carmelo Anthony's +11 on the night.

GASOL'S 30/20
With 30 points (8-15 FG, 14-14 FT) and 20 rebounds February 16th at Cleveland, Pau Gasol posted the first 30-point/20-rebound game of his career while becoming the 10th Laker in franchise history ever to do so, joining Shaquille O'Neal (10), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19), Happy Hairston (1), Wilt Chamberlain (21), Rudy LaRusso (1), Elgin Baylor (77), Larry Foust (1), Clyde Lovellette (1) and George Mikan (10) in the 30/20 club (number in parentheses is with Lakers only). The last Laker to record a 30/20 game prior to Gasol was Shaquille O'Neal, who posted 31 points and 26 rebounds in an overtime victory over Milwaukee on March 21st, 2004.






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