Talen Horton-Tucker put together yet another impressive performance, finishing with 33 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 131-106 win over the L.A. Clippers. With the victory the Lakers have opened the preseason with consecutive wins.
Kentaivous Caldwell-Pope made his preseason debut and got into the box score early with a four-point play. Horton-Tucker again started off strong as he came up with a steal on Kawhi Leonard and followed it up with a 3-pointer in the corner to give the Lakers an early 9-2 lead.
Marc Gasol, making his Lakers debut, showed his passing chops by dishing a pair of dimes to Kyle Kuzma and Caldwel-Pope but the Clippers rallied to cut the deficit to five. The Lakers’ outside shooting was on display as Quinn Cook and Kuzma nailed three 3s between them, putting the team up 39-29 after one.
Both teams shot the ball well to begin the second, with Lou Williams leading the way for the Clippers. Horton-Tucker remained aggressive, attacking the paint to score and earn trips to the free throw line which allowed the Lakers to stay in front.
Turnovers and missed shots slowed the Laker offense down considerably, while the Clippers took advantage to narrow the deficit to only three. It was a slow end to the quarter as both teams took advantage of being in the bonus. A Jared Dudley three in the corner put the Lakers up 70-63 at halftime.
Markieff Morris got the scoring started in the third quarter, nailing a wing three and midrange jumper to give the Lakers an 82-68 lead. Horton-Tucker came up with back-to-back steals that ignited the break and helped give Los Angeles their largest lead of 20.
Horton-Tucker’s impressive night continued after he earned a couple of and-1 opportunities and later capped off his spurt with a step-back three. A sloppy close to the period allowed the Clippers to earn back some momentum, but the Lakers were still up 103-86.
The Lakers remained hot from beyond the arc as Dudley and Cook knocked down their looks to keep the Clippers at bay. Meanwhile, Horton-Tucker managed to make plays on both ends after earning another and-1 opportunity and steal.
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