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Clippers Rout Lakers in ‘Battle for L.A.: NBA Edition’
By Amanda Scurlock, Sports Writer
Published October 20, 2017

Los Angeles Clippers forward Brice Johnson, right, fouls Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

In a showcase of highflying dunks and exciting blocks, the Los Angeles Clippers beat the L.A. Lakers 108-92. Second chance opportunities were a major factor, the Clippers scored 31 second-chance points compared to the Lakers’ 10.

“We held them under 40 percent (in field goals), they killed us on second-chance points,” said Lakers head coach Luke Walton. “But we kept them off their free throw line, things that we challenged them to do, they did it.”

Forward Blake Griffin paced the offense with 29 points and center DeAndre Jordan made 24 rebounds. Lakers center Brook Lopez scored 20 points and forward Larry Nance Jr. made 12 rebounds.

The Clippers went on a 11-4 run in the first five minutes of the first quarter. Jordan made six rebounds in that time. After Clarkson was subbed in, the Lakers gained momentum. Clarkson was able to recover a fumble by Griffin and ended a fast break with an alley-oop to forward Larry Nance Jr.; the Lakers able to tie the Clippers with 3:17 in the first.

The Clippers then launched into a 12-4 run, featuring dunks by Griffin and center Willie Reed. Griffin had 13 points by the end of the first period.

Clarkson earned five points early in the second quarter, but the Lakers sank to a 10-point deficit by the hands of forward Wesley Johnson and guard Lou Williams.

The Clippers showed their defensive chops when guard Patrick Beverly chased down a block after scoring. The manipulative Beverly choked out rookie sensation Lonzo Ball’s offensive effort, rendering his near 30 minutes on court to a useless three points.

“He plays hard,” Ball said about Beverley. “He knows his job, he does it very well. He does what he can to help his team out.”

By halftime, Lob City was still in control with a 53-42 lead.

The Clippers continued their offensive spree in the third quarter, leading by as much as 24 points. Lopez earned eight points, but Griffin poured in nine. Johnson and Williams, both former Lakers, shot their buckets with great accuracy.

To open the fourth, Randle blocked a shot by Willie Reed. However, the Lakers were still unable to shift the game in their favor and reached a 30-point hole with 9:50 left in regulation. The purple and gold continued fighting, cutting the 30-point lead into 16 over nine minutes. The Clippers dominance insured the team from the four turnovers made in that time and secured their victory.

Guard Jordan Clarkson came off the bench with 18 points. Despite starting throughout the 2016-17 season, forward Julius Randle was not a member of the first five. Head coach Luke Walton noted how Randle did not agree with the decision.

“I think that obviously [he is] a little frustrated by the starting thing,” Walton said. “I’ve explained it’s not about whoever being better or playing better, it’s about what units play well, and Julius [Randle], he’s playing really well with that second unit.”

Rookie phenom forward Kyle Kuzma went cold behind the arc but earned eight points in almost 19 minutes. His fellow teammates struggled to make three-pointers; the team only secured four out of 16 attempts.

On October 20 at 7:00 P.M., the Lakers will battle the Phoenix Suns in Arizona.

Categories: Basketball | Sports
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