When things go wrong for the Los Angeles Lakers, they really go wrong, and that was the case on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Lakers put a nice run together to end the second quarter, but then the Clippers came out and blew them out of the water in the third quarter to earn a 132-111 victory.
LeBron James kicked things off with three at the top of the arc, and Malik Monk hammered a dunk off a great feed from Austin Reaves. Reaves was able to hit back-to-back threes, but the defense could not seem to get a stop against the hot-shooting Clippers, which led to a 17-17 tie.
The Lakers did a good job attacking the middle of the paint and scoring at the rim, eventually taking a six-point lead. Carmelo Anthony drew an ovation from the crowd with his own baseline dunk, but Reggie Jackson’s personal spurt at the end of the quarter put the Lakers down 36-31 thanks to a 9-0 run with L.A.’s inability to guard the 3-point line.
It was a poor start to the second for the Lakers, who struggled with the Clippers’ outside shooters and quickly fell behind 47-36. The defense had no answer for Jackson, who picked up where he left off in the first, scoring from all over the floor and forcing head coach Frank Vogel to call a timeout.
Luke Kennard heated up from the field by hitting a pair of triples, but Russell Westbrook was able to slow the Clipper momentum down with an and-one opportunity. A Reaves lob to Malik Monk on the fastbreak capped off a 14-0 run and the Lakers went into halftime only trailing 66-63.
Much like the first half, the Lakers could not slow down Jackson who did everything for the Clippers offensively. The Purple and Gold’s offense stalled out, and a Jackson-led 26-2 run put them in a 27-point hole.
Anthony snapped the drought with a midrange jumper, but not much else went right for the Lakers who could not make up any ground. Kent Bazemore was able to get a 3-pointer to go at the buzzer, but the Lakers went into the fourth down 106-81.
The Lakers finally showed some signs of life, with Stanley Johnson providing a much-needed spark on the offensive end. The newly-signed D.J. Augustin hit his first shot as a Laker, but did not make too much of a dent in the deficit.
Unfortunately, the Lakers were unable to put together a meaningful run in the fourth and would drop their fourth consecutive game.
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