Lakers Defeat Clippers 103-101 In a Game That Will Not Soon Be Forgotten
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Friday, July 31, 2020
In the NBA’s return to play after a 141-day layover, the Los Angeles Lakers picked up where they left off, led by Anthony Davis’ 34 points, as his team defeated their foes from the same city 103-101 on Thursday night.
Basketball’s version of the battle of Los Angeles was the story of the 2019-2020 NBA season--and one that has yet to have an ending. Thursday night was the first chapter in the resumption of the tale.
The rivalry is real. Thursday night was only added confirmation.
Clippers forward Paul George’s three-pointer with 29 seconds remaining in the fourth to tie the game at 101-101 officially turned the game into a “last point wins” affair.
It was LeBron James who scored last points with 12 seconds to go--and the Lakers won.
Despite the two teams only being separated by one point after three quarters of play, the game saw both the Clippers and Lakers holding double-digit leads throughout the affair.
The largest lead the Lakers held was 13--for the Clippers, it was 11. Runs and momentum swings became the theme.
Along with his 34 points, the potential defensive player of the year, Davis, added eight rebounds and four assists.
The Clippers only played 11 games this season when both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were in the lineup at the same time. Early on in Thursday’s night battle of Los Angeles--the rust and lack of familiarity showed.
After the Lakers outscored the Clippers 35-23 after one frame, the Clippers led by Kahwi Leonard’s ability on both sides of the ball climbed themselves back to where we all expected--a deadlock.
Leonard finished the game with 28 points.
The Lakers two-point lead at halftime should have been more considering the Clippers 13 turnovers, but the elite perimeter defense of Leonard and Paul George solely contributed to the slim difference on the scoreboard.
Both Leonard and George helped keep the Lakers shoot only 38 percent from the field in the first half.
A tale of two halves--the best way to say it. After trailing by two at halftime, the Clippers found themselves with an 11-point lead within the first five minutes of the third quarter.
After the strong offensive showing from the Clippers to start the second half, the Lakers then countered by going on a 17-5 run to open the floodgates in what turned into a three-point shootout.
LeBron James went 6-19 from the field while carrying the Lakers backcourt as both Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo are absent. Despite poor shooting from the three-time Finals MVP, James made significant shots down the stretch to solidify the victory for his team.
The NBA restart will continue for the Lakers on Saturday night against the defending champions in Toronto.
For the Clippers, they will get a look at Zion Williamson and the Pelicans just two and half hours before when their foes in Los Angeles are expected to play.