The Lakers got revenge after falling to the Clippers just over a week ago, 102-91. The win snapped the Lakers nine-game winning streak against the other LA team. It was a much different game this time around. The Clippers were without Chris Kaman who missed his third straight game with a sore back and the Lakers had Pau Gasol back after he missed six games with a hamstring injury. The combination of no Kaman and a healthy Gasol made this game a no contest. The Lakers destroyed the Clippers by 40 points, 126-86.
Even with Gasol back, it was Andrew Bynum that got the early looks. I'm not sure if this was to keep Bynum's confidence high since he's been playing so well since Gasol went out, but whatever the reason it worked. Bynum hit six of 10 shots and had 16 points in the first half. He finished with just 20 but that's mainly because they didn't need him in the second half.
This looked like another game where Kobe Bryant would play the facilitator. He didn't take his first shot until 3:45 remaining in the first quarter. He also had a slow second quarter and had just 11 points at the break. But in the second half he scored 19 and most of that came in the third quarter as he didn't play in the final 8:30 in the fourth.
The Clippers were actually leading about midway through the second quarter. They held a 41-32 lead with 7:25 in the half but the Lakers clamped down on defense and outscored the Clippers the rest of the way 94-45. The Clippers scored just 36 points in the second half and were held to 34 percent from the field and just 22 percent in the third.
This was exactly what the Lakers needed. They got a blowout win that allowed them to rest their starters in the fourth. They begin an eight-game road trip Thursday in Cleveland but first they have a rematch of the NBA Finals on Monday against the Magic.
Game Notes: Late in the third quarter, a frustrated Baron Davis was
hounded by Derek Fisher and Gasol and he threw a vicious elbow that hit
Gasol square in the chest. Davis tried to go after Fisher but was
restrained by teammates and Bryant. It didn't look like Fisher had done
anything on that play to warrant the attack but Davis complained he had been slapped in the face many times prior to that play. Somehow though, it was
called a double-technical. While the officials were discussing the
call, the Lakers imitated a youth soccer team and ate orange slices on
-Bryant scored a game-high 30 points and is now just 30 shy of 25,000. You know he'll be gunning to hit the mark against the Magic.