The Los Angeles Lakers returned home and took on the L.A. Clippers on Wednesday night looking to snap a three-game losing streak and eight-game losing streak at the hands of their crosstown rivals.
Unfortunately, those losing streaks only grew larger as the Lakers suffered a disappointing 114-101 loss to fall to 2-9 on the year.
After missing the team’s last game with a sore foot, LeBron James got off to a quick start in this one as he was aggressive early. He capped off an 8-0 with a 3-pointer to give the Lakers an early 10-6 lead.
James had a couple of costly turnovers after that though which led to 3s by Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris to give their team the lead. Turnovers became a theme for the Lakers early unfortunately and as is normally the case, the Clippers continued to capitalize off them. Before the Lakers knew it, they were facing a 10-point deficit at 23-13.
Out of a timeout, Kendrick Nunn did a nice job finding Anthony Davis for a pair of alley-oops.
Russell Westbrook has served as a spark off the bench for L.A. in recent games but that was not the case in this one as he missed a few easy layups and had some crucial turnovers to allow the Clippers to build their lead. He was 1-for-7 with three turnovers in the first and as a result, the Lakers trailing 38-21 with Paul George making a variety of shots from all over the floor.
James did what he could to keep the Lakers in it, starting off 6-for-6 from the field offensively. It took the Clippers six minutes to get their first field goal of the second quarter with the Lakers cutting their deficit to four with a nice run led by their defense.
Westbrook finally got going from there, finding Davis for an alley-oop and then finishing a layup of his own to tie it up. The Lakers ultimately went into the halftime locker room trailing 54-52 after a nice second quarter.
As has been the case a lot over the last few seasons, the Lakers came out sluggish in the third quarter as the Clippers began on a 7-0 run to re-establish their lead, forcing Darvin Ham to call an early timeout.
Midway through the quarter the Lakers finally responded with a 9-0 run of their own to get back in it. Troy Brown Jr. got going a little in that stretch with a trio of nice buckets.
It was a game of runs though as the Clippers responded with a 16-4 burst to close the quarter and take an 87-75 lead into the fourth.
James’ hot shooting continued into the fourth with a pair of 2-pointers. Every time the Lakers scored though, the Clippers seemed to answer back to keep their lead manageable. Unfortunately though, LeBron came up holding his leg midway through the quarter and was forced to head back to the locker room.
He would not return to the game with left leg soreness, and in the end, the Lakers did not have enough firepower without him in the defeat.
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