Two teams playing out the string as the saying goes.
Both heading in opposite directions.
Injuries a big part of the story for both Los Angeles’ NBA teams.
For the Pacific Division Champion Clippers they mix and match parts seemingly not missing a beat exchanging some of those parts on the fly.
For the bottom-feeding Lakers, they just hope to be able to field a league-minimum eight bodies to finish 48 minute games.
In the fourth and final meeting between the Lakers and their hallway rival Clippers, the latter beat the former 120-97 taking the regular season series, 3-1.
The Lakers suited just eight players as they have done numerous times this season. Their list of casualties included Kobe Bryant with a bad knee and Achilles. Pau Gasol experiencing vertigo Steve Nash with nerve root irritation in his back. Jordan Farmar and his strained right groin. Chris Kaman with a strained left calf and MarShon Brooks who didn’t play because head coach Mike D’Antoni decided he wasn’t going to. The able-bodies fell to seven after starting guard Kent Bazemore left in the second with a sprained right foot.
This depleted Lakers squad did show a bit more fight than their last two meetings when the Clippers beat them by 36 and 48 points respectively.
The Lakers trailed by three after the first quarter and by eight at halftime even thou the Clippers were shooting almost 60% from the field. Turnovers were their issue in the first half totaling 13 giveaways resulting in 16 Laker points.
Much better for the Clippers in the third quarter. They stopped giving that ball away and continued the hot shooting at a 62% clip (no pun intended) in the stanza opening a 94-72 lead going into the fourth.
And that was that.
All-stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul paced six Clippers (55-23) with double-figures both of them dropping in 23 points. Shooting guard J.J. Redick still getting back into playing shape after missing two months with a bulging disk in his back had 15 points hitting seven-of-11 shots. Darren Collison had 14, DeAndre Jordan worked a double-double with 11 points to go along with 12 boards and four blocked shots. Hedo Turkoglu added 10.
The Lakers (25-52) were led by center Jordan Hill with 22 points. Nick Young had 18 off the bench.Jodie Meeks added 17. Wesley Johnson and Kendall Marshall each poured in 10 points. Marshall also had 11 assists.
The Lakers host Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets Tuesday night at Staples Center with the floor changed on Wednesday when the Clippers host the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Tip-off for both games is set for 7:40pm.