The “Battle for L.A.” shifted to Las Vegas on Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Clippers in Summer League action.
After losing their first two games, the Lakers were eliminated from championship contention, so this game just served as an opportunity for prospects to continue to show what they can do while trying to get a win over a rival. Ultimately, the Lakers were able to put together their best performance to earn an 83-72 win over the Clippers.
The Lakers were without center Jay Huff once again as he remains in health and safety protocols, but that didn’t stop them from getting out to a quick 6-0 start thanks to a nice layup and then assist by Scotty Pippen Jr. The Clippers immediately responded with five straight points of their own, however.
One thing that remained constant was Max Christie’s struggles from the field as a few of his misses led to easy buckets for the Clippers, allowing them to take an early 14-7 lead.
Mason Jones and Javante came in and gave the Lakers some offense by knocking down midrange jumpers. Outside of that though, the Lakers struggled to score and trailed 27-19 through one quarter.
Jones continued his scoring outburst in the second quarter by knocking down a three and then going to the rim for a hesitation layup, forcing the Clippers to call timeout. After Cole Swider made his first three of the night, the Lakers cut their deficit to just three at 33-30.
The Clippers immediately responded with an 8-0 run though, knocking down back-to-back threes to get their lead back to double digits.
It was a game of runs though as the Lakers responded with a 9-0 run of their own and then after Christie beat the second-quarter buzzer with a three, the Clippers’ lead was 46-43 at the half.
The Lakers started off the third quarter by playing some good defense, leading to easy offense on the other end to help them regain the lead.
While the Lakers struggled to keep Clippers second-year player Brandon Boston Jr. from getting to the free-throw line, L.A.’s veterans like Jones, Paris Bass and Javante McCoy keep the game close for the majority of the third.
McCoy kept it going in the fourth quarter, scoring a variety of ways from the mid-range to help stretch the Lakers’ lead. After another three by Swider, the Lakers’ lead sat at five with five minutes to play.
Pippen, who stayed quiet offensively for most of the night, finally connected on a three as the Lakers began to put it out of reach.
The Clippers would get as close as four, but then Christie hit another three for the dagger to end it.
The Lakers have two more games in Summer League, first against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday and then against an opponent on Saturday or Sunday that hasn’t yet been determined.
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