Recap: Lakers Fail To Capitalize Down The Stretch & Lose To Clippers
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers saw their modest two-game winning streak end after losing to the L.A. Clippers, 119-115.

LeBron James returned to the lineup, but the Clippers took the early advantage after knocking down a pair of threes to begin the night. Dwight Howard, who got the start for the first time this season, was a factor early, scoring inside the paint and forcing a turnover, then redirecting a pass to James for a transition dunk.

The Clippers responded with a 7-0 run to retake control of the game, though Talen Horton-Tucker and James were able to keep them from creating too much separation. Defensively, the Lakers did a good job of forcing the Clippers into tough shots and a scoring binge at the end of the quarter by Carmelo Anthony only put them at a slight 23-22 deficit.

Anthony was able to draw a 3-point shooting foul to start the second, but the Lakers struggled to find many good looks against the Clippers’ zone before James got all the way to the rim for an and-one. Horton-Tucker was able to finish a couple of tough layups, though the Clippers kept the Lakers at bay.

The physicality between the two teams picked up but it was the Clippers, who took advantage as they were able to march to the free-throw line on several occasions. Wayne Ellington was able to narrow the gap with a pair of much-needed threes and the Lakers would only find themselves trailing 53-50 at the half.

Although the Lakers did not have much success shooting from outside, James and Russell Westbrook knocked down one each to tie the game at 58-58. The Clippers continued to dare the Lakers to shoot from beyond the arc and the latter failed to capitalize.

Meanwhile, the Clippers started to heat up from the perimeter as they were able to extend their lead to double digits. The Lakers were able to get back to a scoring groove, but because they were unable to generate many stops they went into the fourth down 87-79.

The tempo of the game picked up and James began to assert himself offensively though Isaiah Hartenstein went toe-to-toe with him. Malik Monk was a sparkplug off the bench as he provided some much needed scoring and the Lakers were able to get within one.

Despite Monk’s scoring, the Lakers were unable to get over the hump as the Clippers answered with big shots each time down the floor. However, the Lakers failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities to take the lead and would lose a tough one.

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