The Clippers completed dominated the Lakers at Staples Center Tuesday night. Approximately 16 minutes into the game, the Clippers were already up 25 points and the game was effectively over.
The Clippers looked to have the Lakers outmatched, jumping out to an immediate 13-2 lead, with the Lakers defense barely-even-there. This lead was extended to 17-6 midway through the first quarter, but two quick fouls on JJ who had 10 points in the first 6 minutes sent him to the bench. Ingram was the only Lakers player who looked like he could compete early on in the game with a Clippers squad that looks better than the Lakers at every position all the way down to the end of the rotation.
The Clippers finished the first quarter up 33-24. Michael Phelps was there too!
In the second quarter Jamal put on a show --- there's nobody on the Lakers that can stay with Jamal, who looked the best he has all season. Austin Rivers and Mo Speights established a beautiful dynamic and the Clippers just steamrolled over the Lakers defense, which is the worst in the league on paper, and looks like one of the worst in recent memory to the naked eye. The Clippers went up 20 points a few minutes into the second quarter, and they pushed this lead to 30 points with a few minutes left in the first half. This was a game where anybody on the Clips who really wanted to could have gone for 30 points or more.
DeAndre Jordan also threw down an absurdly smooth / crazy / weird looking dunk where he quite literally appeared to jump over a fully grown NBA player en route to a massive dunk.
Down 30 at half time, Luke Walton looked scared / confused / defeated. He was physically in the building, but mentally he was just sort of staring off into infinity.
Yes, these guys are young, but they don't look any closer to the playoffs now than they did 3 years ago when they were nowhere near a playoff birth. Walton started the second half with a 5-man reserve unit which looked a little more prepared to run with the Clippers. Some semi-chippy play ensued, but the Lakers couldn't put a meaningful dent into the Clippers lead. Still, the Lakers played hard in the second half, and they definitely have some interesting pieces and strong competitors.
All in all, a 3 game winning streak, the massive win over the Lakers we've all come to enjoy about 4 times per year, and a nice step toward establishing a healthy rhythm heading into the playoffs. This was an important first step for the Clippers to make headway on the fourth seeded Jazz whom they play this coming Saturday. The Clippers will also see the Lakers again this season in what you have to imagine will be a much more competitive outing.
The Clippers head to Dallas to play the Mavericks on Thursday, with the season series tied 1-1 between the two teams.