Jordan Clarkson practice
Jordan Clarkson participates in practice on Dec. 26, 2016.
(Joey Ramirez/Lakers.com)

Walton Pleased With Execution In Win Over Clippers

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

After two weeks on the road resulted in just one win, the Lakers stepped up on Christmas night by defending home floor against their Staples Center neighbors, the LA Clippers.

“It’s a grind coming in every day, traveling and working — and then playing well enough to win game, but just not winning them,” head coach Luke Walton said at Monday’s practice. “It starts to take a toll on each person, so it’s nice to get a win on the home court.”

The Lakers (12-22) certainly had opportunities to capture more wins on their seven-game trip, leading late in about half of those contests.

They even led by as many as 19 points in back-to-back games against Charlotte and Miami, but dropped both after crumbling in the second half.

“We’ve just gotta grow up, to be honest with you,” Jordan Clarkson said. “When the game starts getting easy for us, we tend to relax. That’s when we’ve got to put the foot down and continue to do what we’re supposed to do.”

That’s exactly what the Lakers did in their first win over the Clippers since the 2013 season opener.

The purple and gold trailed by three at halftime but changed the third-quarter script by outscoring the Clippers by 18 in that frame to take the lead for good.

“I think we’ve proven to ourselves that when we’re locked in, especially defensively, we’re capable of playing with any team in this league,” Walton said. “The effort’s always there with us, but the execution has to be more consistent.”

Walton was particularly impressed by the team’s defense, as it held the Clippers to only 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting.

“It was a great Christmas,” Walton said. “We were home, spent some time with the family. And to get a win on our home court capped the night off really nicely.”

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