LOS ANGELES, CA The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 130-125 on Wednesday night to end an 11-game losing run. LeBron James finished with 35 points and 11 rebounds, while Austin Reaves scored seven of his 15 points in overtime.
The shorthanded Lakers defeated their local rivals in the Florida bubble for the first time since July 2020 behind the scoring of D’Angelo Russell (27 points) and Anthony Davis (27 points and 10 rebounds). Since Christmas 2016, the Lakers, who have won 17 NBA titles, have not defeated the Clippers at their shared arena, where they have also dropped 11 straight games.
Reaves stated regarding the skids, “That was known.” “But at the same time, you want to win every game, and I (think) I speak for everybody.”
Kawhi Leonard scored 38 points in the Clippers’ second loss of the early season, as James Harden, dressed in street clothes, watched from the sideline. Thirty seconds into overtime, Paul George fouled out after scoring twenty of his thirty-five points in the fourth quarter, including eight in the last minute.
The Clippers’ coach Tyronn Lue stated, “We played hard.” We simply didn’t always play well. We needed to reduce our turnovers a little bit and there was poor shot selection. The effort is commendable.
The Lakers rallied from an early 19-point hole before losing an eight-point lead in the final ninety seconds of regulation, while using just eight players due to five severe injury absences.
George, who finished with six 3-pointers, tied the game with three free throws with 17 seconds remaining. Russell failed to make a clear attempt at the buzzer.
Reaves stole the ball from Leonard, drove the court, and with 2:12 remaining, he threw an alley-oop to James for a one-handed dunk, giving the Lakers a five-point lead in overtime.
With 48 seconds remaining, Reaves made two free throws and Russell Westbrook missed the game-winning 3-pointer, but Leonard responded with a three-point play and his fifth 3-pointer. Christian Wood then scored a nasty putback dunk for the Lakers with nine seconds remaining.
Against his former team, Westbrook scored 24 points.
In his most recent impressive performance of his 21st NBA season, James added 12 rebounds and seven assists. Since Sunday night’s overtime loss to Sacramento, his Lakers have won two in a row.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham remarked, “It’s just been a process of us figuring each other out as a group.””Earlier in the day, P.J. Tucker and James Harden were officially acquired by the Clippers in a multi-player trade with Philadelphia. He played 21 minutes without scoring in his debut.” The Los Angeles native and 2018 MVP Harden will gradually get back into playing shape in the four days leading up to the Clippers’ next game, but the organization already has faith in Harden’s ability to work well with its three current superstars who are from ‘Southern California’.
“There will be a significant amount of sacrifice required, in terms of shots or minutes,” Lue remarked. “They are prepared to carry out that.”
With Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, and youngster Jalen Hood-Schifino all sidelined by injuries, the Lakers’ bench was already lacking. Taurean Prince started to have knee pain during warm-ups even before he was a starter. After missing Monday’s match due to an eye ailment, Hachimura enrolled in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
After making seven of his eight shots, including four 3-pointers, Leonard scored a career-high eighteen points in the first quarter. After battling hard for the next two quarters, the Lakers took the lead late in the third.
“They tuned in, made sure they got to me, was in the gaps,” said Leonard. “They won’t stand by and let someone keep shooting the ball.”
Even though George was flagged for his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter, he somehow put on an incredible stretch run.
The Clippers will be in New York on Monday.
Lakers: Saturday away at Orlando.