LAL Beat Clippers to Cap Summer League

LAL Beat Clippers to Cap Summer League

A wild finish to the Las Vegas Summer League saw the Lakers defeat the Clippers 104-103 thanks to a free throw from Cole Swider with 00.4 seconds left on Sunday evening to complete a 3-2 week in Sin City.

L.A. had taken a commanding 103-100 lead with 17.5 seconds left when LJ Figueroa drove to the rim and scored plus the foul. Though he missed the and-1 free throw, the Lakers got a stop on the other end, and Figueroa drew another foul with 04.0 seconds left. But Figueroa – who’d been terrific for a second straight game by leading L.A. with 23 points on 10 of 13 field goals and seven boards in his 23 minutes off the pine – missed two more free throws.

The Clippers managed a game-tying triple with 00.4 seconds left. But on the ensuing inbounds play after the Lakers advanced the ball, Swider drew a foul by forcing contact while trying to free himself, giving the Lakers one free throw, and the basketball since the ball had yet to be inbounded.

Swider, who’d hit 5 of his 9 three pointers on the evening, calmly sank the foul shot, clinching the victory.

Shooting guard D’Moi Hodge joined Swider and Figueroa with 20+ points, scoring 23 on 7 of 13 shooting, all seven makes coming from three, not to mention five steals, five boards, three assists and a block. In the frontcourt, Colin Castleton controlled the glass with a game-best 14 rebounds, as well as a team-best six assists.

The Lakers struggled to shoot the basketball from distance in Vegas*, but that wasn’t the case against the Clippers, as they converted 13 of 26 attempts, largely thanks to Swider and Hodge. The Lakers controlled the backboards, grabbing 41 to LAC’s 30, but committed 19 turnovers to LAC’s 12 to give their opponent extra opportunities.

*They finished at 33.6% even after the strong finale.

Max Christie, who’d been L.A.’s best player this summer, missed a second straight game with a right hip strain, while first round pick Jalen Hood-Schifino also missed the contest due to a right groin strain.

L.A.’s next professional action will come on Oct. 7 at Golden State for the preseason opener, before they return to Vegas on Oct. 9 to face Brooklyn.