Last night’s showdown at STAPLES Center was an all around L.A. battle. In the end it was the Clippers that would win by 6 points, making the final score 97-91.
The Lakers went up against the Clippers in their first preseason game against each other, with the Clippers overcoming a third-quarter comeback to take out the short-handed Lakers squad Wednesday night.
With both Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard out nursing injuries, the Lakers were lacking the talent they needed to keep up with the young, athletic Clippers roster.
Also not in uniform during last night’s game: Earl Clark, Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups and Trey Thompkins.
Although the Clippers didn’t play Chris Paul, the Lakers often rely on the star power of both Bryant and Howard; however, Steve Nash guided the Lakers back in the third quarter, but didn't play in the fourth. Steve Blake was solid behind him, hitting four of his eight three-point attempts. Blake's four assists were coupled with four turnovers.
It was the combined effort of Matt Barnes, Eric Bledsoe and Travis Leslie that would help the Clippers pull away. Although the Lakers shot well (47.1% from the field, 38.1% from three) turnovers were a problem yet again.
Gasol finished well with a team-high of 17 points and Jordan Hill returned from injury to score 12. Both Gasol and Hill led the Lakers with eight boards apiece. Rookie Robert Sacre had 13 and seven but collected five fouls and turnovers, a piece.
The Lakers finish the preseason on Thursday night in San Diego against the Sacramento Kings.
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