Skip to content

Chris Paul leads Clippers to convincing win over Lakers

Jan 5, 2013, 2:38 AM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul dribbles the ball as Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant defends during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles

The battle of Los Angeles turned out to be not much of a contest after all, and if you’ve been paying attention to the fortunes of the Lakers and Clippers to this point in the season, the end result shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise.

Chris Paul controlled the game from the very start, and behind a brilliant 30-point, 13-assist performance, he helped lead his team to a 107-102 win over L.A.’s substandard NBA squad.

The win propelled the Clips to a record of 26-8 on the season — a half-game ahead of the Spurs, and just percentage points behind the Thunder for the best record in the crowded and competitive Western Conference. The Lakers fell to two games below .500, good enough for just 11th place in an eight-team race for the postseason.

Paul was the reason why, and despite a couple of Laker runs, including a furious fourth quarter rally that cut a 19-point deficit to just two with a minute and a half to play, the Clippers proved to be the stronger team multiple times over the game’s 48 minutes.

Nine of Paul’s assists came in the game’s first 16 minutes, and by the time he left the game for the first time midway through the second quarter, he had his team up by 17 points.

The Lakers went on a huge run to cut that deficit to four, but it was back up to double-digits seemingly instantly after a reverse dunk from Blake Griffin that resulted in an and-one, after Pau Gasol defended like his shoes were made of stone.

Griffin finished with 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting in 29 minutes. Gasol was essentially nonexistent, finishing just 1-of-6 from the field for two points and four rebounds; a highlight reel of his performance from this game would be clips of him slowly taking the ball out of the basket to inbound it over and over again after the Clippers just scored.

Metta World Peace returned to the Lakers starting lineup, with Mike D’Antoni preferring to return Kobe Bryant to the two-guard spot for this matchup. It certainly helped Bryant, who was sensational on this night and ended up with 38 points on 15-of-25 shooting. But World Peace equalled Gasol’s shooting numbers, and with Bryant trying to carry the offensive load of essentially three starters, it simply wasn’t enough.

The Lakers needed a more aggressive offensive performance from Steve Nash in this one, on a night where no one beyond Bryant was able to do much of anything offensively on a consistent basis. He’s capable of much more than 12 points and 10 assists against four turnovers, and this was a game where he perhaps could have impacted the game offensively more than he chose to.

As expected, the much deeper Clippers team got a boost from its reserves, including active performances from former Lakers Matt Barnes and Lamar Odom. It just seemed as the Lakers fought their way back from large deficits again and again, that ultimately the Clippers would have an answer before things could get fully out of hand and swing entirely in the Lakers favor.

The final Lakers run came near the game’s finish, when they put together a 24-7 run that lasted over nine minutes, and brought the game back within a single possession. But Paul made sure his team would hang on, and hit the step-back 21-foot dagger over Bryant with 19 seconds left that all but sealed it.

Latest Posts
  1. Allen Iverson documentary trailer debuts (VIDEO)

    Apr 23, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    Allen Iverson Allen Iverson

    The documentary will be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend.

  2. Report: Hawks assistant Quin Snyder in mix for Jazz job, too

    Apr 23, 2014, 6:41 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat

    Utah needs a coach good at player development, Synder could be a fit.

  3. PBT Extra: How ’bout them Wizards?

    Apr 23, 2014, 5:49 PM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics Getty Images

    CSNWashington.com’s Wizards insider talks about the best story line in the playoffs so far.

  4. Rockets coach Kevin McHale explains the difference between good and bad players

    Apr 23, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT

    Kevin McHale AP

    McHale jokes with a reporter by making a painfully obvious observation.

  5. Ron Harper expects to interview for Knicks’ coaching vacancy

    Apr 23, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT

    Ron Harper Ron Harper

    Harper worked as Pistons assistant for two years

  6. Flip Saunders on coaching the Timberwolves himself: ‘You never know’

    Apr 23, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

    Flip Saunders Flip Saunders

    Timberwolves president coached Minnesota, Detroit and Washington before taking current job

  7. Report: Frank Vogel “coaching for his job” in wake of team’s slide

    Apr 23, 2014, 12:39 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers - Game Two Getty Images

    It would be a mistake, but the Pacers’ slide has everyone on edge in Indy.

  8. Phoenix’s Goran Dragic runs away with Most Improved Player

    Apr 23, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT

    Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis

    Lance Stephenson was second, Anthony Davis third, but they were well back of Dragic.

  9. Baylor’s Isaiah Austin declares for NBA draft

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Traevon Jackson, Isaiah Austin Traevon Jackson, Isaiah Austin

    7-foot-1, athletic with 3-point range — what’s not to like? A decent amount

  10. Frank Vogel not afraid to make adjustments, but the one he didn’t make might make the difference

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

    vogelhibbert

    Frank Vogel resisted the urge to do anything dramatic and trusted his team to make little changes. It worked.

  11. Mario Chalmers questionable for Game 2

    Apr 23, 2014, 10:32 AM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat

    Heat will need point guard more later than against Bobcats

  12. Wednesday playoff previews: Rockets know they need a win

    Apr 23, 2014, 8:46 AM EDT

    Dwight Howard, Chandler Parsons AP

    Can Houston bounce back to even the series?

  13. Report: Pacers’ Lance Stephenson, Evan Turner got in fight day before Game 1

    Apr 23, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers - Game One Getty Images

    Teammates reportedly broke up the fight, but I bet they really wanted to step back and let it go for a while.

  14. Tuesday NBA grades: Beal, DeRozan not perfect but good enough

    Apr 23, 2014, 2:34 AM EDT

    NBA: Playoffs-Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors Reuters

    Teams leading scorers were not perfect but they were good enough.

Featured video

Wizards playing spoiler in East
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. A. Jefferson (3128)
  2. K. Durant (3087)
  3. D. Wade (3017)
  4. D. Rose (2844)
  5. L. James (2702)
  1. J. Noah (2642)
  2. K. Bryant (2549)
  3. A. Bogut (2353)
  4. S. Curry (2204)
  5. D. Howard (2181)