GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Clippers 29 26 26 27 108
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 34 29 29 21 113


Lakers 113, Clippers 108

By BETH HARRIS


Posted Apr 04 2012 10:48PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Andrew Bynum scored 36 points, Kobe Bryant added 31 and the first-place Los Angeles Lakers outlasted the Clippers 113-108 on Wednesday night, widening their Pacific Division lead to 2½ games over the second-place Clippers and snapping their rival's winning streak at six games.

By taking two out of three against their Staples Center co-tenants, the Lakers also earned the head-to-head tiebreaker in a game that could help decide the division winner and playoff seeding in the West. The division winner will likely earn the No. 3 seed behind Oklahoma City and San Antonio.

Former Laker Caron Butler scored 28 points to lead six Clippers in double figures. Chris Paul added 22 points and 16 assists, Blake Griffin had 15 points and 14 rebounds, and DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the West's fourth-place team - the designated home team. Their winning streak was the franchise's best in 20 years.

Ramon Sessions added 16 points and eight assists for the Lakers, who won their fourth in a row. Bynum bounced back with an offensive performance that was one point off his season high after missing one game with a sprained left ankle and running afoul of the front office with some questionable on-court behavior.

With the Lakers clinging to a two-point lead, Bryant hit a jumper over Randy Foye to make it 110-106 with 24 seconds left. Paul missed a jumper and Griffin was called for a loose ball foul on Pau Gasol, who made one of two free throws with 18 seconds left.

Griffin's tip drew the Clippers within three, but Nick Young fouled Matt Barnes, who made both free throws. Paul's turnover and foul gave the Lakers the ball with 4 seconds to go, ending the Clippers' chances to win the season series for the first in 19 years.

The Clippers trailed by 11 to start the fourth and scored the first eight points to get to 92-89. Young had nine of their first 12 points. Eric Bledsoe hit a 3-pointer to get the Clippers to 98-96. The final 7 minutes were a four-point game.

Paul's jumper tied it at 102 and the Clippers took their first lead, 104-103, since early in the game on Jordan's hook.

Bryant scored over Butler and then Metta World Peace stole the ball from Paul. Bynum got fouled and made one of two free throws to put the Lakers back in front, 106-104. After consecutive turnovers by both teams, Sessions scored on a driving layup with 47 seconds left to keep the Lakers ahead by four.

The Lakers led 73-61 early in the third quarter. The Clippers rallied on a 12-5 run that cut their deficit to five points. Griffin dunked one-handed over Gasol, who argued that Griffin had fouled him with the monster move that sent Gasol staggering toward the floor. But Griffin drew the foul and missed the free throw. Jordan dunked to reinvigorate the crowd and Butler scored the final five points in the spurt.

But the Lakers answered with a 14-8 run to end the third up 92-78. Bynum had seven points and Bryant six.

Jordan made a great play after trying to save the ball from going out of bounds with a leap over the courtside seats. His save got intercepted by the Lakers, but he climbed back over the seats and took off running. He dashed up behind Sessions and poked the ball away, leading to a 3-pointer by Butler to end the third.

The Lakers led 63-55 at halftime, scoring easily in the paint against the Clippers' porous defense. Bryant had 18 points and Bynum 17 in the half, while Butler was the only Clipper in double figures with 23. The Lakers scored the first seven points of the second quarter to build a 12-point lead, their largest of the half. Butler scored 13 of the Clippers' final 14 points in the second, including three 3-pointers.

NOTES: The Clippers' seven-game home winning streak ended. ... There were 11 technicals in the teams' first two meetings, but there was just one individual technical against Sessions. ... Foye came in averaging 21.6 points and 3.3 assists in the Clippers' last three games, but he finished with 11 points and four assists. ... The Lakers improved to 12-15 on the road. ... The Clippers fell to 19-13 against teams with .500 or better records.


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

Lakers take on the Clippers Wednesday, April 4th at Staples Center at 7:30PM. Catch all the action on Fox Sports West, NBA TV, and 710ESPN.







View More Photos


Points Bynum 36, 13-20
Rebounds Bynum 8, 3 OFF 5 DEF
Assists Sessions 8
Steals Sessions 2
Blocks Bynum 4


POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike Brown:

Lakers Head Coach Mike Brown
RE: Tonight’s win “It was a good offensive performance from both teams. Neither team played defense for an extended stretch throughout the game. I thought they did a good job getting to offensive rebounds and the 50/50 balls. I thought we would have had a little bit bigger lead in the first half but they got to those balls and they hurt us a little bit in the first half.”

Lakers Head Coach Mike Brown
RE: Lakers execution tonight “Our team executed well offensively, Clippers have been playing well defensively as of late and for us to score 113 points on 52% shooting was a very productive night for us. It was the combination of Kobe [Bryant] and [Ramon] Sessions going for 14 assists and then our bench having eight assists. Kobe [Bryant] was very efficient out there going 13 of 19 and Andrew [Bynum] out there going 13 of 20 makes us a different team. It was just a good overall effort by everybody.”




Andrew Bynum:

Lakers Center Andrew Bynum
RE: On pain in his left ankle and playing tonight “It hurts a little bit especially on spin moves; I found more little things out there that hurt so I tried to stay away from them. As the game progresses the pain subsides.”

Lakers Center Andrew Bynum
RE: Kobe Bryant and Ramon Sessions performances “Kobe [Bryant] didn’t want to lose tonight. We are fighting for a playoff spot. hey are one game behind us so we had to get this win. Ramon [Sessions] was amazing for us tonight especially at the end. He did what guards are taught to do, jump into the shot blocker’s body and then finish and there was nothing they could do about it.”




Steve Blake:

Lakers Guard Steve Blake
RE: Tonight’s playoff like atmosphere “It seemed like a playoff atmosphere. I think both teams really wanted it. We have been playing well lately and we wanted to keep playing well. It was physical and both teams were changing their game plans on the fly and it was fun to be out there.”

Lakers Guard Steve Blake
RE: Meeting the Clippers in the Playoffs “Whoever we play I just look forward to playing that night.”




Vinny Del Negro:

Clippers Head Coach Vinny Del Negro
RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game “I really didn’t particularly like the way that we played in the first half. I thought we were letting them catch the ball where they wanted to too easily. Bynum was getting open position, we were getting back cut and we didn’t have a good physical first half to start. We scored the ball in the first half pretty well ourselves. In the second half, I thought we fought and were more aggressive. We got down then we made another run.”

Clippers Head Coach Vinny Del Negro
RE: Play of the bench “I thought our bench came in, Nick [Young] and Eric Bledsoe especially came in and did a good job. Kenyon [Martin] got some boards for us. They gave us a big lift with [Eric] Bledsoe’s pressure and pushing the ball.”

Clippers Head Coach Vinny Del Negro
RE: Differences in the second half “Our turnovers hurt us in the second half, that’s for sure. We had nine turnovers in the second half. [Andrew] Bynum hurt us obviously and Kobe [Bryant] got going and then he hit a couple of big shots late. We let them shoot too high a percentage and they controlled the paint in terms of [Andrew] Bynum and [Pau] Gasol. We had our opportunities down the stretch, but they executed when they needed to. We made a couple of turnovers and we didn’t knock shots down.”

Clippers Head Coach Vinny Del Negro
RE: The differences between the two teams “They’re more familiar with each other. The core of their team has won championships. You don’t go through those battles without learning a lot about yourself and your teammates and the core of your team. They’re much farther along in terms of their rhythm and recognition, where guys like the ball and how to react in different situations. This is all new to our team in terms of the core of our team.”

Clippers Head Coach Vinny Del Negro
RE: Play of Clippers forward Caron Butler “Caron [Butler] had a fantastic game for us. He was very aggressive and looked great. He had a good bounce to his game.”




Nick Young:

Clippers Guard Nick Young
Re: Clippers vs. Lakers rivalry “It’s big. You could feel it in the atmosphere. Everybody was talking about it. It was the talk of the town. It was great to be a part of it.”

Clippers Guard Nick Young
Re: Flow of the game “I’m just taking my shots and trying to get open. I don’t put my head down when I’m missing shots; I just have to keep playing the game.”




Chris Paul:

Clippers Guard Chris Paul
Re: Not being able to push the tempo “It would have been nice. But in order to do that, you can’t be taking the ball out of the net. Our defense wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be tonight. That was part of the problem.”

Clippers Guard Chris Paul
Re: Defensive lapses “We sort of gave up everything. They had 63 in the first half. Kobe [Bryant] was shooting a lot early. It has to be one or the other. It’s either him [scoring] or no one else. Tonight he had it going, and so did [Andrew] Bynum and everybody else.”

Clippers Guard Chris Paul
Re: Closing out games “We have to learn how to win these games, and close these out. I think it was a good learning process for us. This is how the playoffs are. Down the stretch, everyone in the gym knows where the ball is going at both ends of the court. We have to find ways to manage it, unfortunately we didn’t tonight, but it will help us in the future.”






Clippers-Lakers Preview

By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO


The Los Angeles Lakers may be atop the Pacific Division, but the Los Angeles Clippers are surging behind their longest winning streak in two decades.

The Clippers look to draw closer to the Lakers by winning the season series for the first time in 19 years on Wednesday night.

The Lakers (34-20) have won 11 of 15 and lead the division by 1 1/2 games over the Clippers (32-21). However, the Clippers are mounting a run at their much more heralded co-tenant, winning six in a row for their longest streak since March 18-31, 1992.

They also put together an eight-game run that season from Nov. 30-Dec. 15, 1991.

Getting closer to that mark will require winning the season series from the Lakers for the first time since 1992-93.

The city rivals have split two meetings this season with each winning at home, including the Clippers’ 102-94 victory on Jan. 14.

The Clippers are eager to prove they belong among the Western Conference’s elite after cruising to a 94-75 victory at Dallas on Monday.

“A win like this shows that we’re growing,” guard Randy Foye said. “It means a lot to play this well and beat the champs.”

Foye is making a surprising impact on the Clippers, averaging 21.7 points the last three games after scoring a season-high 28 against the Mavericks. He hit a personal- and team-record eight 3-pointers while Blake Griffin and Chris Paul were held to 15 and eight points, respectively.

“We got him in some rhythm,” coach Vinny Del Negro said of Foye, who is averaging 10.1 points this season. “They went zone, they lost him a few times on that left wing. They load up so much on Chris (Paul) and Blake (Griffin).”

Foye hasn’t found the same success against the Lakers in 2011-12, making 4 of 20 from the field - 2 of 8 from beyond the arc - for 15 points.

Griffin has been much better with 48 total points and 23 rebounds in the two matchups, while Paul scored 33 in the Jan. 14 win. The point guard didn’t come close to being that effective Jan. 25, scoring four points on 2-of-8 shooting in a 96-91 loss.

The Lakers would like to create some breathing room in their quest for a fifth straight division crown.

They squandered a 17-point lead in Tuesday’s 91-87 win over New Jersey before Kobe Bryant made a 3-pointer with 6.8 seconds left. Bryant scored five of his 24 points in the final 71 seconds.

“We feel as a group that when we do get a double-digit lead, we tend to relax a little bit,” coach Mike Brown said. “The other team, they’re going to amp it up, take chances and be more physical. Next thing you know, it’s a three-point game.”

Bryant, the league leader with 28.0 points per game, has totaled 66 points in two season meetings with the Clippers, including 42 on Jan. 14. The All-Star guard is averaging 31.5 points over the last four meetings when the Lakers are the visiting team at Staples Center.

Bryant could get some scoring help if Andrew Bynum is available. The center didn’t play against the Nets, and Brown would only say that the club had handled an internal matter. He refused to comment on a report the Lakers had fined Bynum for a series of minor disciplinary transgressions.

Bynum, averaging 17.9 points and a team-best 11.9 rebounds, also sprained his left ankle early in Sunday’s 120-112 win over Golden State.


4/03/12
W LAL 91, NJN 87
4/01/12
W LAL 120, GSW 112
3/31/12
W LAL 88, NOH 85
3/29/12
L OKC 102, LAL 93
3/27/12
W LAL 104, GSW 101
Probable Starters
  Lakers    
  #15 World Peace SF #5 Butler  
  #16 Gasol PF #32 Griffin  
  #14 Murphy C #6 Jordan  
  #24 Bryant SG #4 Foye  
  #7 Sessions PG #3 Paul  



Lakers Jordan Hill
(sprained MCL, right knee) is questionable.
Andrew Bynum
(sprained left ankle) is day-to-day.

Chauncey Billups
(torn left achillies) is out.
Mo Williams
(sprained left big toe) is out.


Game 1: 01/14 - L 94 - 102
Game 2: 01/25 - W 96 - 91
Game 3: 04/04 - LAL @ LAC


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