By: Brandon Rosenthal | December 29, 2018
In the first battle of Los Angeles of the 2018/19 season, the Lakers fell flat at home, losing to the Clippers 107-118. The Lakers really missed LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, who missed their 2nd consecutive game due to injury. The Lakers started the same starting 5 as the Kings game, which is coincidentally the same starting 5 that started for the Lakers summer league team in 2017. Crazy how time flies. Once the game started, the Clippers jumped on the Lakers, taking a 9-4 lead in the first few minutes, but the game slowed down after that. Boban Marjanovic made Ivica Zubac look like anyone next to Yao Ming, cleaning the glass and playing good interior defense (by literally standing there, he’s so fucking tall). The Clippers used a very balanced scoring effort, getting at least one point from 8 players in the first to lead by 5 after 1, 28-23. The Lakers were led by Brandon Ingram with 7, but he continued to shoot poorly from the charity stripe, and it’s starting to be a real problem. KCP provided a nice spark off the bench in the first with 7 points and a three to try and uplift the offense.
In the second, the pace picked up a bit as both teams finally felt comfortable. The Lakers tried to close the gap by being aggressive and getting to the bucket, but Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari kept the Lakers at bay. In the second half of the quarter, the Clips started to miss some shots and Kyle Kuzma finally started to get rolling, getting the Lakers within 1. Josh Hart hit a three to five the Lakers their first lead of the night, 45-44, with 3:36 left in the 2nd. Gallinari hit a couple of shots to answer for the Clippers, but the Lakers took the lead into halftime, 54-51. Kuzma had to 10 points in the quarter, getting his halftime total up to 14. Gallinari also had 10 in the quarter for the Clips. Side note: Kuzma and Gallinari are like mirrors of each other. Very similar players, but Gallo has that Italian tan.
To start the second half, the Lakers scored the first 7 points, extending their lead to double digits 61-51, with 9:26 left in the 3rd. However, we seen this story for the Lakers. The lead stayed at 8 or 10 for a few minutes, before the Clippers made back-to-back buckets with 5:44 left, cutting the lead to 6, prompting a Luke Walton timeout. The Lakers defense was not sharp, as the rest of the quarter was back and forth, with the Clippers battling back to take a two-point lead, 82-80 after 3. Sweet Lou Williams took over in the third, scoring 9 more points, getting his total up to 22 after 3.
In the fourth, Sweet Lou kept it going, scoring seven points in the first 90 seconds, giving the Clippers a nine-point lead. The Lakers couldn’t answer and looked completely overwhelmed, and before you knew it, they trailed by 15, 80-95 with 9:45 remaining. I know what you’re saying … WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?? The Lakers tried to cut into the lead, getting it to 10 a couple times, but it was “too little, too late”, as the Clips pushed back, getting the lead back up to 15 with just over 4 mins left. Lou Williams was the absolute man, piling it on the Lakers. He scored 23 points in the second half, including 14 points in the final quarter, finishing with 36 to lead both teams. Lakers lose, 106-117. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers in scoring for the second straight game with 24.
Lakers fall to 20-16 (12-6 at home), losing their second straight game, and are now 7th in the West. The Clippers improve to 21-14, and stay 4th in the West. The Lakers are off until tomorrow, when the Sacramento Kings (19-16) come to town.
* = Starter
- The Lakers had 17 turnovers for the game, as opposed to the Clippers, who had 12.
- Lonzo played great for the second straight night, scoring 19 points, grabbing 5 boards and dishing out 6 assists.
- The Clippers had 71 bench points, led by Lou Williams (36). The Lakers had 28 bench points.
- The Lakers shot 68% from the foul line In the game, and remain LAST in the league for the season at 69.4%.
- Javale McGee is with the Lakers, but did not play. He could be good to go against Sacramento.