Monday 22nd April 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Lakers vs. Clippers: A New L.A. Story

The battle over Los Angeles resumed with the Lakers beating the Clippers, 113-108, with resounding performances by Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum. Although the game was close, the Lakers now own the season-series and they finally looked up to the challenge of playing against the best point guard-power forward tandem in the NBA, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

But the surprise of the game was the Clippers’ Caron Butler who broke out of his shooting slump with a 28-point night.

The Clippers have been on a historic 7-game winning streak, their best in about 20 years, while the Lakers have been developing chemistry new their new acquisitions.

It did not matter in this game. The Lakers were confident and played like the better team, despite three or four eye-popping dunks by Blake Griffin. Here are two of them:

Griffin rebound dunk:

Griffin Posterizes Pau Gasol:

In the first half, the Lakers led 63-55. The Lakers played good offense, but almost no defense, especially on Caron Butler who was on fire. Kobe and Bynum had strong performances in the first 24 minutes, both of them shooting the lights out.

At halfway thru the 3rd, the Lakers took a 70-59 lead behind Bryant and Bynum’s brilliance, but the Clippers fought back, largely fueled by the emotion produced from Griffin’s monstrous slam over Gasol. But, it was not enough. Both teams went back and forth in the final minutes, with the Lakers prevailing on another clutch shot by Kobe Bryant:

Bryant’s 31 points were big, but none were bigger than that basket. Bynum paced the Lakers with 36 points, 4 blocks, and 8 rebounds. In a losing effort, the Clippers were led by Butler, 28, and Paul, 22 points and a terrific 16 assists. Blake Griffin added 15 points and 14 rebounds.

For the first time this season, the Lakers looked confident against their cross-town rivals, and that is good news heading into the playoffs where the teams may possibly meet again.

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