The good news is the Clippers beat the Lakers and extended their win streak to 3 games. The bad news is Blake Griffin now has a sprained MCL, and may be out for 2 months. This injury was the last thing the depleted Clippers squad needed, as they’re now missing 4 starters.
The Battle of LA was a thrilling game from start to finish; the game had 16 lead changes, 9 ties, and no lead greater than 9 points. This game marks the 5th straight time the Clippers have beaten the Lakers (20/22 overall). The Clippers were led by the spectacular play of Lou Williams, who scored 42 points on 12/21 (57%) shooting. Lou’s 42 points was the second-most he’s scored in a single game, which included plenty of shots like these.
The Lakers were led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who scored 29 points on 12/28 (43) shooting. Lonzo Ball’s struggles continued as he scored three points on only 1/7 shooting. In the final minutes of the game, Ball had a crucial turnover & missed two 3-pointers badly.
I mentioned in the pregame article that the Clippers needed to contain the glass to win this game. Despite losing the rebound battle 52-49, the Clippers kept the rebounding battle competitive. It seemed like the Lakers were going to run away with the game, with their offensive rebounding hustle (12 total). However, the Clippers kept battling back and managed to grab 10 offensive boards themselves.
4th Quarter Comeback
The Lakers were up 103-95 and poised to win the game with 8:15 left in the fourth quarter. The Clippers’ comeback stemmed from an offensive rebound after a missed free throw, which led to a 4 point play. From that moment on, the Clippers played with a rejuvenated pace, making fantastic cuts to the basket.
Blake Griffin went down with 3:53 left during a collision with Lonzo Ball and Austin Rivers. Despite Griffin’s departure, Lou Williams heroics saved the team. Williams scored the last 8 points for the Clippers, and sealed the game 120-115.
The Final Clip: The Clippers finally performed well during 4th quarter pressure. What remains to be seen is if they’ll continue clicking without Blake Griffin. Tune in Thursday, as they face a Jazz team that’s also won 3 straight.