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Lakers pick up first win of season versus Clippers

LeBron/AD/Bradley combine for 82

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It took until the second-to-last month of the season, but the Lakers finally got a much-needed victory over their cross-town rivals. To no surprise, LeBron James and Anthony Davis carried their team, combining for 58 points in their 112-103 victory over the Clippers.

For the Clippers, this marks the first time all season they’ve lost a game when having a fully healthy roster. Still, being 10-1 with your entire squad is still pretty damn good.

There were a number of things that went wrong for the Clippers on Sunday afternoon, but let’s start with the good first. Paul George had one of his best games as a Clipper. He finished with a game-high 31 points, going 9-for-16 from the field while grabbing six rebounds and adding three assists and three steals.

Montrezl Harrell was an electric spark off the bench, adding 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including eight rebounds and two blocks. That’s pretty much a wrap on the things that went right for the Clips.

As a team, they shot 7-of-31 (22.6%) from deep. They had only 12 assists on their 34 made field goals. Their bench, who is the highest scoring bench in the NBA, scored only 37 points, with more than half of them coming from Harrell. Overall, it was just a sloppy game from the Clippers. However, though nothing seemed to be clicking, they were still competitive for majority of the game.

Adding on to that, the seven Clippers not named Leonard, George or Harrell combined to score 25 points on 9-of-42 from the field. That won’t win you a lot of ball games.

On the other side, we know that James and Davis are going to put up 25+ each, it’s nearly a given each night. What isn’t a given, is Avery Bradley (!!!) knocking down six three-pointers and dropping 24 points. It was a season-high in points for Bradley, who seemingly couldn’t miss all afternoon against his former team. If there’s anything to take away from this game, it’s the fact that he likely won’t have another game like this all season.

The real turning point in the game came with just under five minutes left in the second quarter. Two free throws from Leonard gave the Clips a nine-point lead, their highest of the game. Instead of adding to their lead and entering halftime up double digits, they allowed the Lakers to creep right back into the game. The Clippers went over four minutes without knocking down a basket, and made only two over the final six minutes of the half.

Both teams battled it out in the third quarter, exchanging leads. With three minutes left in the third, a Rajon Rando three would give the Lakers the one-point lead. That would be the closest the Clippers would get the rest of the night.

At the end of the day, the Clippers still lead the season-series 2-1, and are still second in the Western Conference standings. After riding a six-game winning streak, a performance like this was bound to happen. As I mentioned, a lot went wrong for the Clippers, and they still played a competitive game, so there’s definitely no cause for concern because of one loss.