GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Clippers 31 24 21 26 102
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 24 18 30 22 94


Clippers beat Lakers 102-94 behind 33 by Paul

By BETH HARRIS
Posted Jan 14 2012 10:27PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Chris Paul scored 33 points, Blake Griffin had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way in beating the Lakers 102-94 on Saturday night despite 42 points by Kobe Bryant.

Chauncey Billups added 19 points, former Laker Caron Butler had 13 points and DeAndre Jordan had 10 rebounds in the Clippers' second win in four days over one of the NBA's elite teams.

The Clippers beat Miami 95-89 in overtime on Wednesday and have won five of their last six. Paul limped off after hitting a jumper in the final minutes.

Bryant notched his fourth straight game of 40 or more points but the Lakers had their five-game winning streak snapped by their Staples Center co-tenants, who beat them twice in the preseason.

The Lakers got no closer than five points early in the fourth quarter as the visiting team. Bryant broke out for 21 points in the third, but he was limited to 10 in the fourth against the Clippers' double teams.

Billups and Paul hit consecutive 3-pointers to help the Clippers extend their lead to 67-53 midway through the third.

Bryant took over from there, scoring 17 of the Lakers' final 19 points of the quarter to close to 76-72. He began and ended the spurt with 3-pointers and in between hit 7 of 8 free throws while the Clippers were held to nine points over the final 5 minutes.

The Clippers' biggest first-half lead was 55-42 at the break. They outshot and outrebounded the Lakers, who were better in the paint.

The Lakers twice closed within three points in the second quarter, but the Clippers outscored them 16-6 to end the period, with Billups, Paul and Griffin combining for 14 points.

The Clippers opened the game on a 13-4 run, then outscored the Lakers 13-9 to lead after the first quarter. Things got chippy in the final 12 seconds when Darius Morris went up for a basket after Paul was whistled for a foul and Griffin pushed off him with both hands as Morris came down.

Lakers coach Mike Brown got incensed and was called for a technical, while nothing was called on Griffin. Morris had the last word, though, when he sank a jumper from before the half-court line at the buzzer as Paul tried to cut him off. Metta World Peace and Grififin also had technicals.

Notes: Clippers F Brian Cook left midway through the second quarter with a sprained left ankle. ... The Clippers improved to 5-1 at home and 6-0 this season when taking a lead into the fourth. ... The Clippers have sold out all six of their home games. ... The Lakers were playing their fifth game of the week and their 14th of the season, tying Chicago for most games played. ... The Clippers have played just nine games, fewest in the league. ... Clippers backup G Mo Williams missed the game because of an injured right foot that he hurt on Tuesday at Portland. ... Lakers G Jason Kapono is adjusting to sleepless nights after his wife gave birth to premature twin girls named Campbell and Isla earlier in the week. "Thirty minutes is like three hours. It's all been a blur," he said.






View More Photos


Points Bryant 42, 14-28 FG
Rebounds Bynum 16, 5 OFF 11 DEF
Assists 4 tied with 4
Steals Bryant 2
Blocks Gasol/Bryant 2


POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike Brown:

On Chris Paul:

“Chris Paul a heck of a game. But you can usually survive somebody having a heck of a game, like Chris Paul had tonight, if you don’t give up that many offensive rebounds, particularly for that many points.”

On playing four games in five nights:

“Clippers may have played the least amount of games, but everyone is going through this tough schedule, and we just didn’t get it done tonight.”

On Technical Fouls:

“I lost my cool. I told my team at halftime that I apologize. I don’t like to think that the refs can control the game. I gave them a point. We gave away four points on unnecessary technical, and we just have to be smarter than that, starting with me.”




Darius Morris:

On the play of the Clippers:

“This is my first game actually playing and losing, but it felt like a true rivalry.”

On guarding Chris Paul

“Chris Paul has a very high basketball IQ. He knows the spots that he wants to get to. We just have to watch the film and get better, especially on the pick and roll coverage, because I felt that on when it was him against one of our big men on the pick and rolls, with me trailing, Chris Paul really took advantage of it.”




Kobe Bryant:

On Clippers rebounding effort:

“Their rebounding was sensational. They just did a great job on the glass. It was all on them, 17 offensive rebounds for 25 second chance points is really tough to deal with.”

On Blake Griffin and this year’s team:

“I don’t think Blake Griffin needs anybody to make him better. I think the game just gets easier playing with Chris Paul. Blake Griffin had a sensational year last year. The Clippers are a great team and they have a lot of weapons this year.”




Vinny Del Negro

On defending Kobe Bryant

“He got in that little rhythm when we were trying to get him to an area. He has such a great step-back elevation with deep range. He made a lot of tough shots, but he is going to do that. You can’t get frustrated. You’ve got to work the next play and I felt like half the time he was getting into that rhythm, it was better.”

Overall thoughts on tonight’s game:

“I thought we rebounded the ball much better this evening. We were able to control the tempo. I thought DeAndre [Jordan] and Blake [Griffin] were aggressive on the glass along with Reggie [Evans], which gave us second chance opportunities, and we were able to convert there. They were switching some pick-and- rolls there and I thought Chris [Paul] was really aggressive with his penetration. I thought we had a solid effort.”




Blake Griffin:

On silencing the critics:

“We don’t really care to much about critics, we are focused more on ourselves and it’s going to take time. But we are headed in the right direction.”




Chauncey Billups:

On being a playoff type team:

“We are headed in the right direction. We stayed the course and no one got frustrated when they started getting things going.”

On Chris Paul’s play:

“They couldn’t guard him tonight. Coming off the pick and rolls he was unstoppable. His shot was on point today and he really caused them a lot of problems out there tonight.”






Lakers-Clippers Preview

By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO

Posted Jan 14 2012 2:45AM

Chris Paul was expected to join Kobe Bryant and bolster the Los Angeles Lakers' chances at winning a third NBA title in four years.

Instead, he's found himself driving the revival of their more unheralded co-tenants.

Fresh off a signature win, Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers look to keep rolling when they open their regular-season series with Bryant and the Lakers on Saturday night.

Once the lockout was settled, Paul expressed his desire to be traded from league-owned New Orleans instead of playing out the final season of his contract. It seemed the Hornets found a suitor in the Lakers (9-4), but a three-team trade that also involved Houston was nixed by commissioner David Stern due to "basketball reasons."

A week later, the superstar point guard was traded to the Clippers (5-3) for three players and Minnesota's 2012 first-round pick.

Joining a team that also includes Blake Griffin, Paul's acquisition has made the Clippers a Western Conference contender, an expectation they're backing up on the court.

Paul is averaging 16.1 points while ranking among the NBA leaders with 8.8 assists and 2.8 steals, and the Clippers are gaining steam by winning four of five while holding opponents under 90 points in each victory.

He turned in his best performance in a Clippers uniform Wednesday, scoring a season-high 27 points while dishing out 11 assists in a 95-89 overtime victory against Miami. That win was aided by more strong defensive play, as the Clippers held the Heat to season lows in scoring and shooting percentage (39.5).

"It's good to get a win and get it by grinding it out," said Griffin, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Paul could make a major impact when he faces the Lakers for his first time as a Clipper in a game that counts. He's averaged 20.3 points and 11.8 assists in 20 career regular-season meetings against them.

While Paul has the Clippers feeling good about ending their five-season playoff drought, Bryant is on a tear as he leads the league with an average of 31.2 points.

The two-time scoring champ is certainly excited for the first meeting in what - at least based on the Clippers' two tense preseason victories - seems destined to become a heated rivalry.

"It's a good test. I'm looking forward to it," Bryant said. "It's going to be a good challenge. We're going to be pumped up and excited. There's going to be a lot of energy."

The 13-time All-Star is averaging 39.0 points during the Lakers' five-game winning streak, scoring at least 40 points in each of the last three contests despite dealing with torn ligaments in his right wrist.

The injury didn't seem to bother him Friday, as Bryant made 15 of 31 shots for 42 points in a 97-92 win over Cleveland.

"The wrist is feeling stronger, feeling more comfortable," Bryant said. "It's just motivation. Nobody wants to hear about a bad wrist as being the reason why I had a bad game. Nobody wants to hear excuses."

Bryant hasn't needed excuses when facing the Clippers, averaging 29.7 points over the last seven matchups with the Lakers winning five. He scored 37 points in the most recent meeting, a 112-104 win March 25.

Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are providing some scoring help for Bryant, averaging 16.9 and 16.6 points, respectively. Both had double-doubles against the Cavaliers, and coach Mike Brown wants to see more of the same.

"We have to make sure we keep executing offensively so we don't need to rely on (Bryant) so much," Brown said. "It's good to have a guy like Kobe Bryant in your pocket."

The Clippers may feel the same way about Griffin, the team leader with 23.3 points per game and 10.8 rebounds. The reigning rookie of the year has been held below 20 points just once this season, and scored 22 in each of the last two meetings with the Lakers.


Copyright 2012 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
Probable Starters
  Lakers    
  #9 Barnes SF #5 Butler  
  #16 Gasol PF #32 Griffin  
  #17 Bynum C #6 Jordan  
  #24 Bryant SG #1 Billups  
  #2 Fisher PG #3 Paul  



Lakers Kobe Bryant
(torn lunotriquetral ligament, right wrist) is probable.
Derrick Caracter
(torn lateral meniscus, left knee) is out.
Pau Gasol
(sprained right shoulder) is probable.
Josh McRoberts
(sprained left big toe and left thumb) is probable.
Steve Blake
(costochaondral fracture) is out.

Eric Bledsoe
(Torn right lateral meniscus)



Game 1: 01/14
Game 2: 01/25
Game 3: 04/04


GAME NOTES

SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers split last season’s series with Cleveland 1-1 after losing the 2009-10 series with the Cavaliers 0-2. This will be the 100th meeting between the two teams with the Lakers holding a 58-41 series advantage. In their last 10 overall meetings, the Lakers are 3-7 against the Cavaliers. The Lakers are 9-3 all-time against the Cavaliers at STAPLES Center while in Cleveland, they have gone 3-7 in their last 10 visits to Quicken Loan Arena. In their last home game against the Cavaliers 1/11/11 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers defeated Cleveland 112-57. The 55-point margin of victory is the third largest in team history, while the 57 points allowed are the fewest by a Lakers opponent in the shot clock era. In 28 games against the Cavaliers (25 starts), Kobe Bryant is averaging 22.3 points per game, his lowest career scoring average against any NBA opponent despite scoring a series record 47 points 1/30/01 at Cleveland. Bryant has faced a variety of health-related issues when facing Cleveland in recent years. On 2/8/09 at Cleveland, Bryant played through the effects of flu-like symptoms. In the prior meeting on 1/19/09, Bryant suffered a dislocated ring finger on his shooting hand but continued to play, marking the 3rd time Bryant has been injured against the Cavs. In 2004, Bryant suffered a sprained right shoulder that limited him to 17 minutes, five of which came after injuring his shoulder in the final seconds of the 1st quarter (1/12/04). Bryant tallied 10 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists, playing five 2nd quarter minutes predominantly left handed. The following season, Bryant suffered a severely sprained right ankle after landing on Ira Newble’s foot with 5:39 remaining in the first period (1/13/05) and did not return until the Lakers/Cavs next meeting that season. Lakers head coach Mike Brown spent five seasons as the Cavs head coach, leading Cleveland to the 2007 NBA Finals and back-to-back 60+ win seasons. Cavs head coach Byron Scott played 11 seasons for the Lakers including his final NBA campaign in 1996-97 with then rookie Kobe Bryant. Also, Cavs rookie Mychel Thompson, who played collegiately at Pepperdine, is the son of Lakers radio color commentator Mychal Thompson.


FIRST TO FORTY
On Tuesday, January 10th, Kobe Bryant scored an NBA season-high 48 points the help the Lakers to a 99-83 victory over the Phoenix Suns at STAPLES Center. Entering that night’s schedule, 131 NBA games had been played on the season, and not one player had reached the 40-point mark in a game, marking the farthest into a season in the shot-clock era, in terms of games played, before the first player scored 40 points in a game. Prior to this season, the latest “first player to 40” came in the 2004-05 season, when Dirk Nowitzki scored 41 points on 11/11/04. Prior to that day, there had been 68 NBA games played that season.*

The NBA season-high 48 points scored by Bryant, who was 33 years, 140 days old on January 10th, is the most by a player that old in a regulation-length game since Michael Jordan posted 51 points at the age of 38 as a member of the Washington Wizards 12/29/01 vs. the Charlotte Hornets. Bryant, who is currently in his 16th NBA season, became the first NBA player to score 48 or more points in his 15th season or later; Michael Jordan held the previous record, scoring 48 or more points in his 14th NBA season. Bryant’s 48 points (18-31 FG, 12-13 FT), marks his highest scoring output since registering 49 points 3/1/09 at Phoenix, and is the most he has scored in any game in which he did not make a three-point field goal.*


40-POINT GAMES
With 48 points January 10th vs. Phoenix, Kobe Bryant scored 40+ points for the 108th time (regular season) in his NBA career and the first time this season. Last season, Bryant eclipsed the 40-point mark three times (139-137 3OT win 3/22 vs. Phoenix (42 points), 92-95 loss 11/28 vs. Indiana (41 points), 96-109 loss 1/30 vs. Boston (41 points). During the 2009-10 season, Bryant eclipsed the 40-point mark eight times, with the Lakers going 7-1 in those games. In the history of the NBA, only two players have more career 40-point games: Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173). The Lakers are now 74-34 all-time in games that Bryant scores 40+ points. Bryant holds the Lakers franchise record for 40-point games in a single season, recording 27 during the 2005-06 campaign. Bryant also holds the franchise record for most consecutive 40-point games (9), established during the 2002-03 season. Only Wilt Chamberlain (14 twice, 10 once) has had longer consecutive 40-point game streaks in league history than Bryant.


BRYANT NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR 29th TIME
Averaging a league-high 33.0 points on 49.5% shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists while helping the Lakers to a 3-1 record, Kobe Bryant earned his FIRST WC Player of the week award this season for games played Monday, Jan. 2 through Sunday, Jan. 8. The award is the 29th of Bryant’s career (27 Western Conference POW, 2 NBA POW), further surpassing Magic Johnson’s 18 NBA POW awards as the franchise’s all-time leader. Johnson, however, earned each of his Player of the Week nods before the award was separated by Conference prior to the 2001-02 season. Bryant’s other WC POW honors came in weeks ending: 11/4/01, 1/20/02, 11/3/02, 12/8/02, 1/12/03, 2/2/03, 2/23/03, 2/17/04, 3/22/04, 11/13/05, 12/18/05, 12/25/05, 1/22/06, 4/16/06, 3/18/07, 3/25/07, 1/13/08, 3/2/08, 4/6/08, 12/28/08, 1/11/09, 3/15/09, 11/22/09, 12/20/09, 12/27/09 and 3/27/11. His two NBA Player of the Week honors came in weeks ending 4/16/00 and 12/24/00. The NBA began the Player of the Week award in 1979-80.


WINNING IN SPITE OF TURNOVERS
In their 90-82 victory over Memphis on January 8, the Lakers turned the ball over 27 times; their highest total since turning it over 27 times in a 96-89 loss to Philadelphia on March 27, 2005 at STAPLES Center. The last time the Lakers had at least 27 turnovers and won came in a 106-102 overtime victory on April 20, 1999 at Golden State (27 turnovers). For the Lakers last regulation victory with at least 27 turnovers, one has to go all the way back to November 3, 1995 when they defeated the Denver Nuggets 98-96 at the Great Western Forum despite turning the ball over 27 times. On the season, the Lakers are now 5-2 when turning it over more than their opponents.


SHOOTING BLANKS
In their January 5 loss at Portland, the Lakers struggled to 0-for-11 shooting from behind the three-point arc despite opening the contest connecting on 11 of their first 12 field goals. The zero in the three-point field goals made column marks the first time the Lakers have not made at least one three-point shot since November 16, 2003 vs. Miami when the team combined to go 0-for-9. With 11 attempts and zero made, the Lakers also equaled the franchise record for most three-point field goal attempts without a make, established, ironically, 2/26/83 at Portland (0-11 3FG) and equaled again on 3/9/01 vs. San Antonio (0-11 3FG).


BRYANT NEARING SHAQUILLE O’NEAL FOR 5th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (28,144) are Shaquille O’Neal (5th/28,596), Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone (2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform.

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. In 2009-10, 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).


*Statistical research assistance provided by the Elias Sports Bureau






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