The Lakers agonized through a Valentine’s Day disaster worse than an overbooked restaurant and closed florist hours before the big date. A 15-0 run to start the game and a 14-5 run to finish the 1st half by the Clippers evoked many awkward silences. The Lakers came back in the 2nd, creeping to within 3 a few times before the Clippers ran out on the Lakers and left them with the check. Chauncey Billups scored 9 points late in the 2nd off of 3 of Chris Paul’s 13 assists to halt the surging Lakers. Griffin dominated the 1st quarter with 18 of the Clippers 31 to finish with 22 to complete the not so mutual breakup of the LA basketball hierarchy. The Clippers will win the season series for the first time since the ’92-93 season, when Danny Manning, Ken “Snake” Norman, and Ron Harper played for Larry Brown at the Sports Arena.
Every time the Lakers made a run, the Clippers found the open man and they didn’t miss. Shooting 16 of 30 from behind the arc, the Clippers outscored the Lakers 48-18. The Lakers were unable to withstand the three-point onslaught considering they could not make their own. Even though the Lakers dominated points in the paint, 54-36, they could only manage 6-20 from three. Although each LA team shoots 35% from deep on the season, the Clippers erupted as CP3, Chauncey, and Matt Barnes all shot over 50% from beyond.
Kobe provided 20 points and 11 assists, but committed 6 of the team’s 16 turnovers. Jamison had another big game, scoring 15 points in the 1st half, but only two for the rest of the game. Dwight added 18 points on 7-10 shooting, but looked limited by his ailing shoulder. Fortunately, this loss comes right before the Lakers go on break, so its impact is less damaging than the 125-101 score could have been. It still leaves tons of questions, including whether to make a move to improve their fortunes, or wait until Pau gets back.