Gameday: Lakers 95, Clippers 105

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Clippers 28 24 30 23 105
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 23 24 20 28 95

Team Highlights: Kobe Makes History | Kobe Steal | Blake's Quick Put-Back | Kobe Ties Magic

Clippers send Lakers to 0-3 start with 105-95 win


Posted Nov 03 2012 1:31AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Chris Paul had 18 points and 15 assists, Jamal Crawford scored 21 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 105-95 Friday night to send their Staples Center co-tenants to an 0-3 start.

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points and Dwight Howard had 13 points and eight rebounds while battling constant foul trouble for the Lakers, who are 0-3 for the first time since 1978 and just the fourth time in franchise history.

Steve Nash sat out with a bruised left leg for the Lakers, who have followed up their 0-8 preseason with three losses in four days.

Blake Griffin scored 15 points before fouling out and Caron Butler had 14 for the Clippers, who pulled away steadily in the second half.

The Clippers snapped a nine-game "road" losing streak against the Lakers dating to April 12, 2007.

While the Clippers celebrated, the pro-Lakers crowd reacted to another loss with angry shouts piercing the silence, much of it profane criticism of coach Mike Brown and his new Princeton-based offense.

Bryant attempted to put the Lakers on his shoulders in the second half, scoring 26 points out of sets that resembled the Lakers' old offenses. The Clippers stayed comfortably ahead with big second halves from Paul and Griffin.

Nash's absence was only one reason Paul had the same number of assists as the Lakers, with Nash replacement Steve Blake managing just two assists in 38 minutes before fouling out in the final minute. Paul had his 10th assist shortly after halftime and led the entire Lakers roster after three quarters, with 14 to the Lakers' 12.

The Clippers pulled away in the third quarter, making an 18-5 run with nine points from Griffin to take an 82-67 lead into the fourth quarter. The Lakers trimmed it to 91-83 with 5 minutes to play, but Crawford and Matt Barnes kept the Clippers ahead with big buckets.

Bryant became the Lakers' career steals leader with his 1,725th in the third quarter, passing Magic Johnson. But the Lakers' defense was largely ineffective against Paul, and the Clippers forced 20 Lakers turnovers.

While the Lakers seem headed for growing pains this autumn as they integrate their two new stars into the lineup, the Clippers appear ready to make a run at their rivals' supremacy.

The Clippers are frequently saddled with rough November schedules that make it tough to get off to a fast start, but everything has changed this year. They'll only leave Los Angeles for one game before Nov. 19, playing seven of their first eight at Staples Center.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have caught few breaks since training camp opened with Howard still recovering from offseason back surgery. Nash's absence is just the latest obstacle after he was hurt in the first half of the Lakers' loss at Portland on Wednesday night in a collision with rookie Damian Lillard.

Just three games into his three-year contract with Los Angeles, the two-time MVP had to sit out, leaving Blake in his spot in the starting lineup.

Brown doesn't know whether Nash will play in Sunday's home game against Detroit.

NOTES: Bryant moved past Johnson into 15th place on the NBA's career steals list. Isiah Thomas is 14th with 1,861. ... Clippers C DeAndre Jordan threw down a stunning putback dunk in the third quarter, barely throwing down a rebound before falling onto his back. Jordan scored just four points. ... Barry Diller, Diane Vopoinn Furstenberg and directors Kevin Smith, James L. Brooks and Adam McKay attended the game.

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Points Bryant, 40
Rebounds Gasol, 14
Assists Paul (LAC), 15
Steals Crawford (LAC), 3
Blocks Howard, 5


Mike Brown:

On tonight's performance:
“For us I guess it’s been the same song the last couple of games. We played well in stretches, moved the ball well, moved our bodies well, we get great looks and then we get bogged down by turnovers. It’s tough to see the 25 points off the 20 turnovers and then on top of that they get 9 offensive rebounds, which is great. I’ll live with giving somebody 9 offensive rebounds but to score 20 second chance points off those 9 offensive rebounds, it’s tough. It’s tough to continue to fight against because you’re doing a decent job with your defense. You’re doing a decent job at times with your offense and we shot 50 percent from the floor and we gave ourselves 20 less opportunities to get a bucket. If we can keep the number down to 14 to give us 6 more cracks at it, that helps out but the 20 turnovers for 25 points and the 20 second chance points off of 9 offensive rebounds, it negates everything else that you’ve down out there and we didn’t play a great game.”

On the Lakers offense:
“That’s where we’ve been the last couple games we go on a run, we play in spurts. We go on a run, next thing you know it’s a 4 point game, it’s a 2 point game and then we’ll have 2 or 3 straight turnovers or for some reason offensively we’ll bog down, keep the ball on one side of the floor which is never good for us and take a bad shot. Now they’re running out against us off of a turnover, off of a bad shot, making us pay at the other end and stretching it again. So we have to be able to find ways to sustain whatever we’re doing out there within our offense and within our defense for longer periods of time.”

On not winning a game so far this season:
“I’m not trying to fool anybody here, we do need a win and we hope that we could have gotten one tonight. That’s part of the reason why Kobe played the minutes he played, which is too many but while we’re trying to get this win, we still got to do things right. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be tough to get a win if we’re averaging 23 turnovers a game. The first game we had 14 but the last 2 games we had 25 against Portland and 20 tonight. In 2 games we had 45 turnovers for 55-60 points and then on top of that in the 2 games we had 19 offensive rebounds for 45 points so it’s going to be tough for us to win if we continue to get beat that bad in those areas, in the turnover game and the rebound game.”

Kobe Bryant:

On the team's loss tonight:
“You always take a step back when you lose, I don’t really believe in moral victories. Defensively we were pretty solid, but you let a team get nine offensive rebounds for 20 second-chance points, I’m having a hard time believing how that’s possible.”

On being patient:
“It’s [being patient] is particularly hard for me because I’m not the most patient individual in the world, but you have to be, you have to be, you have to stay persistent, you have to stay committed to what you’re doing and just keep on trucking.”

On the team's defensive performance:
“Defensively I thought we did a pretty solid job, you know when we were able to keep them in the half court. They got out in transition and got a lot of fast break points on us. ”

On the team's turnovers:
“A lot of them [turnovers] it’s just getting the timing down, you know we’re making the right reads, trying to make the right plays. You know particularly trying, myself, to get the ball to Dwight [Howard], trying to get the ball to Pau [Gasol], you just got to get a little bit more in sync of where to put the ball so the week side can’t come and get deflections.”

Dwight Howard:

On progressing as a team:
“We just got to continue to get better. We just got to keep playing, we just can’t get frustrated. I think tonight a lot of us got frustrated the way that the game was going. We just got to keep our heads and come together.”

On the team's offensive performance:
“We just got to play, we got to play. We’re trying to learn an offensive so a lot of the time we tip-toe everything out there, but we just got to play.”

Metta World Peace:

On why the defense isn't working:
“I think it’s the energy. You can play as hard as you want, you don’t even have to be an athlete to know that when you get tired you stop; your body can only take so much. I think guys are trying. I think a day off will help. It’s our 7th or 8th straight day on our feet. I think it hurt us a little bit.”

Pau Gasol:

On if the team is improving:
“We did some good things, but we still aren’t consistent enough. In our game, in our execution, defensively we just have stretches that are not good enough. In order to beat a good team you have to be consistent and we haven’t reached that level yet.”

On the second half struggles:
“We’re in a position to score or attack, but we do have to find a way to get ourselves into positions to maximize our abilities.”

On having a day off:
“It might help. Bottom line is we have a game on Sunday and we have to be mentally ready and physically ready to do whatever it takes to win the game.”

Vinny Del Negro:

On Chris Paul having more assists than entire Lakers team:
“Well, Chris is a general out there he’s going to control the tempo of the game. I thought he did a very good job at pushing the basketball. I like that he was a little more aggressive tonight, getting in the paint and making plays for us. That’s why he’s a special player and he has the ability to control the tempo of the game. He knows time and score. He knows when to attack but he’s going to make the right basketball play.”

On team's expected progress at this stage:
“We’ve got to clean up some things. Our double teaming at times was poor I thought. We let them baseline too much whether it was guards or bigs. Our rotations were a little slow defensively. In that second quarter they got some long rebounds we didn’t get a body on people and offensively it’s just about being together, time, rhythm, all timing stuff. I’m more focused on how we are going to get some stops and create some offense from our defense to get us out there on the court.”

On Clippers being perceived as better than Lakers:
“I think it’s the second game of the year and you’ve got two teams that have just gotten together. It’s too early to tell anything other than we have to keep getting better and I believe we will with the character guys we have, the talent we have and the leadership we have.”

Jamal Crawford:

On the game:
“We were just playing the way we are capable of playing. They made their runs, they’re a great team, but we stayed poised. We ran our sets and executed [...] we have a deep team.”

Chris Paul:

On the game:
“What was the key was we weathered the storm. I think we might have had a 12 point lead going into the fourth and Kobe started being Kobe. And I’ve played against the Lakers enough times to see him get like that and they come back and win. But I think our bench. We had some timely shots. L.O. hit a big one. Matt hit a big one off the glass. But once again, our bench stepped up for us.”

On his 15 assists:
“When it comes to those assists I told the guys on the team I have the easy part. All I have to do is pass it, they are the ones that make the shoots and stuff like that so it’s a credit to them. Jamal Crawford made some tough shots. Caron made some big shoots and we just did a good job of running the court […] we have so much depth and that’s what makes our team so special.”

On the Lakers rivalry:
“It’s only a rivalry when both teams win. And it’s still pretty lopsided. For us, we just want to come in and get a win in a tough environment, and we did.”

Blake Griffin:

On Chris Paul:
“He’s an unbelievable player […] nothing he does surprises me anymore.”

On the Lakers rivalry:
“We are getting better as a team and I’ve said earlier that the biggest difference between these games now and the games my rookie year when we used to run out that tunnel for starting lineups, no one would move. They didn’t really care. And now they feel the heat a little bit.”

Clippers-Lakers Preview


Posted Nov 01 2012 8:45PM

The new-look Los Angeles Lakers may be without Steve Nash when they try to avoid their worst start in 34 years.

Nash is listed as doubtful for the Lakers, who have dropped their first two games heading into Friday night's matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Lakers haven't started 0-3 since 1978, the season before they drafted Magic Johnson with the No. 1 overall pick.

They could be without Nash, who suffered a lower leg contusion in Wednesday's 116-106 loss at Portland.

"We'll see how it goes, see how it calms down some more, but I couldn't tell from this point," Nash told the Lakers' official website. "Maybe I'm too optimistic to say 'doubtful,' but it's definitely tough." Steve Blake will likely start at point guard if Nash doesn't play.

If there's a positive sign for the Lakers, it's Dwight Howard's dominance Wednesday with 33 points and 14 rebounds. Howard fouled out with 19 points and 10 boards and missed 11 of 14 foul shots in Tuesday's 99-91 home loss to Dallas.

The Lakers, though, struggled defensively against the Blazers, who placed all their starters in double figures and shot 50.6 percent.

"We've got to learn how to play together," Howard said. "You've got to be good before you can be great."

This will be the fourth head-to-head matchup between Howard and Clippers big man Blake Griffin. Howard has averaged 25.7 points and 14.0 rebounds while shooting 66.7 percent in those meetings, and Griffin has averaged 18.3 points and 12.7 boards while making 45.7 percent of his field-goal attempts.

Neither Griffin nor Chris Paul had big nights in the Clippers' opener, a 101-92 home victory over Memphis on Wednesday. Those stars combined for 23 points but the bench picked up the slack with 49, led by Jamal Crawford's 29 points in his Clippers debut.

"I may be a little biased, but I think we're the best bench in the NBA," Crawford told the Clippers' official website. "A lot of us have said that this is the most talented team we've ever been on and a lot of that has to do with our bench."

The Clippers got only two points from Lamar Odom, who is beginning his second stint with the club after his ill-fated 2011-12 season with Dallas that came on the heels of seven campaigns with the Lakers.

The bench will be stronger Friday since Matt Barnes will begin his second stint with the team he began his career with after serving a one-game league suspension for resisting arrest. Barnes rejoined the Clippers on Sept. 14 as a free agent after playing the last two seasons with the Lakers, and will provide depth with veteran Grant Hill out with knee problems.

"Luckily, we have Matt who can step in and give us some more size at the 3," coach Vinny Del Negro said.

The Lakers won two of three meetings last season and captured the Pacific Division by one game over the Clippers. Kobe Bryant averaged 32.3 points on 53.1 percent shooting in those contests.

The Lakers are Friday's home team. The Clippers have dropped nine straight as visitors in this series between Staples Center co-tenants.

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 Kobe Bryant
(strained & bruised right foot) is day-to-day.
Jordan Hill
(herniated disc) is probable.
Steve Nash
(lower left leg contusion) is doubtful.

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