Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) had 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in a 106-103 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, January 7. 2023 (Courtesy Photo)

Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham preached patience stating the NBA season is a marathon following a tough home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday evening.

“We got to keep the fight going. We cannot lose our fight,” Ham said after a fourth consecutive loss.

The Lakers battled after being challenged by their coach and bounced back in a big way with a matchup against the red-hot Clippers, who had won 14 of their last 17 games.

LeBron James recorded 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Anthony Davis had 22 points, 10 rebounds and three steals as the Lakers earned a 106-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, snapping their five-game winning streak on Sunday night at Crypto.com Arena.

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“They’re a championship ballclub, as far as I’m seeing,” Ham said of the Clippers. “Playing very high-level basketball, multiple threats all over the place. That’s a huge, huge win. A great win to get off the slide.”

The win gave the Lakers (18-19) just its fourth victory in 14 games since winning the NBA’s first In-Season Tournament and their second consecutive win over the Clippers (22-13) after previously losing 11 in a row to their in-town rivals.

“We played like we needed to win, like it was a must-win,” Davis said. “We competed on both sides of the basketball. We’ve just got to build off of it. We know what we have in the locker room. We know what it takes to win, and we displayed that tonight.”

Paul George finished with 22 points and Ivica Zubac had a double-double with 22 points and 19 rebounds for the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard added 15 points while James Harden recorded 15 points and nine assists.

“You’re going to have games like this (where) you’re not going to play great,” Leonard said. “You’ve just got to give the Lakers credit. They came out aggressive with energy. [James] had a great game, and [Davis], and they led them to victory.”

The Clippers shot only 39 percent from the field while the Lakers shot 51 percent.

“We just didn’t play a good offensive game,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said. “There was a bad flow to the game offensively. I thought our defense was pretty good, but offensively we couldn’t get in a flow or a rhythm.”

The Clippers led 24-19 in the first period and held a 53-49 halftime lead but it was the Lakers who outscored LAC 32-24 in third which set up a back-and-forth fourth period.

“This game was very winnable. We know this game doesn’t show who we are in any way. We know who we are. This was just a rough one for us,” said George.

D’Angelo Russell scored five of his 13 points in the fourth as he put the Lakers up 92-82 less than four minutes into the quarter after drilling a three-pointer. The Clippers responded with a 9-0 run moments later, and Norman Powell made three free throws with 2:19 to play to tie the game at 98-98.

Taurean Prince hit a tie-breaking three-pointer with 1:17 left to take a 101-98 advantage and James converted a 4-foot runner to take a 103-98 lead with 41.2 seconds remaining.

Harden gave the Clippers life after making a three-pointer with 23 seconds left, and Austin Reaves split a pair of free throws with 4.2 seconds left.

Powell had one last chance to send the game into overtime after attempting a three at the buzzer, but the ball rimmed out resulting in a 106-103 victory for the Lakers.

“It looked like it was good for sure,” said James. “Right on line. … We’ve got to continue to get better. Try to use this to catapult (us to play) a little bit better. Better play from us, but it still don’t take away from the fact of how we’ve been playing like the last 11, 12 games.”