The battle of Los Angeles, the battle of Staples (or now, Crypto.com), the “Hallway Series” — whatever you want to call it, when these two teams face-off, there always seems to be more than just a win involved.
There’s pride. Who really runs the city of Los Angeles?
There’s perpetual hostility.
And, for tonight’s game, a better spot in the play-in tournament on the line.
To the Clippers’ liking, the team capped their 105-102 victory to extend their win streak against the Los Angeles Lakers to six.
Marcus Morris Sr. started things off for the Clippers with a quick pull-up jump shot. He found his rhythm early in the first, draining two more consecutive pull-up jumpers.
As the Clippers rallied against the Lakers into the second quarter, it was Luke Kennard that took control. Coming into tonight’s game hitting 11 of his last 15 from deep, he got it going early off the bench: he buried all of his first three shot attempts from long range and finished the game with 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting from three.
Their 10-point cushion quickly disappeared as the Lakers put on a show of their own in the third. On the offensive end, the Clippers looked sloppy with the ball and soon, a miss after another, missed 12 of their first 14 shots of the quarter.
It was Terance Mann and his athletic and acrobatic takes to the rim that salvaged the sinking Clippers ship in the third: he knocked down an open pull-up jumper and finished with a stylish finish in the very next play.
His efforts, however, were not met with much help from his teammates as the Clippers were outscored 31-15 going into the final quarter.
Mann’s fellow third-year Clipper, Amir Coffey took up the baton in the fourth: he sunk jumpshots, powered through defenders near the rim, and made two crucial free throws to give a one-point lead with one minute left on the clock.
A clutch shot from Morris, a few overturned calls, and two Jackson free throws later, the Clippers — Robert Covington, I should say — found themselves, stopping Lebron James to clinch their sweet victory against the home team.
The Clippers now stand at the .500 mark, and a win against Houston will give them a boost for their fight towards a higher seed.