Clippers rally past Lakers in LA Christmas battle

Rappler.com
Clippers rally past Lakers in LA Christmas battle
Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers storm back from 15 points down to hand the Lakers their fourth straight loss

 

 

LOS ANGELES, USA – Patrick Beverley got one over The King.

Beverley came up with a clutch defensive play against LeBron James as the Clippers rallied past the Lakers, 111-106, in a battle of Los Angeles teams in the NBA’s holiday extravaganza on Wednesday, December 25 (Thursday, December 26, Philippine time).

The pesky Clippers guard poked the ball out of James’ hands as the Lakers superstar went up for a potential game-tying triple with only 3.4 seconds left.

After a review, officials ruled the ball touched James last, giving the Clippers the last possession. 

Paul George hit two free throws for the final margin as the Clippers dealt the Lakers their fourth straight loss.

 

 

Kawhi Leonard dropped 11 of his 35 points in the 4th quarter where the Clippers orchestrated a 17-5 closeout to rule the marquee showdown.

Montrezl Harrell added 18 points and 6 rebounds to complete the Clippers’ comeback from 15 points down, 53-68, in the second half. 

Despite the breathless buildup to the “Battle of Los Angeles,” Leonard scoffed at the idea that city bragging rights mattered.

“It was one game out of the season,” he said. “Whoever won this game was not going to win the LA Championship or anything.

“Both teams have got their eyes on the biggest prize.”

George also collected 17 points, 5 boards, 3 assists and 3 blocks in the key victory that hiked the Clippers’ record to 23-10.

Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 25 points and Anthony Davis also had 24 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and a couple of blocks.

James finished just a rebound short of a triple-double with 23 points, 10 assists, and 9 boards. 

Despite the skid, the Lakers remained on top of the Western Conference with a 24-7 record. 

Leonard, who shot 5-of-7 from three-point range,  knocked in a key triple that tied the game at 101 with 5:14 minutes left. 

Lou Williams later made two free throws after a questionable foul call on Davis that put the Clippers on top, 105-103 , before Leonard hit 4 more from the foul line that cushioned their lead, 108-105.

 

 

With James off to a slow start offensively, the Lakers still managed to take control with a 17-2 scoring run to close the first half and take a 63-51 lead at the break.

The Lakers led by as many as 15 in the 3rd quarter before the Clippers battled back to knot the score at 86-86 going into the 4th.

Three-pointers from James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope helped push the Lakers to a 101-94 lead, but the Clippers tied it up again and took the lead for good with 3:29 remaining on their way to a second victory this season over the Lakers.

“We gave that one away,” said Davis, who lamented the team’s “mental mistakes on both ends of the floor” late in the game.  –With a report from Agence France-Presse

 

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