Clippers defeat Lakers 114-89 in ‘rivalry’ game at Staples Center

first_img“It was nice,” Rivers said, “that the starters could not play the fourth quarter. But for me, it’s more just the spirit of how we played. That’s for me every night. We’re just working on our spacing and making quicker decisions offensively and then just being in the right spots defensively.“I thought they followed the game plan defensively terrifically.” Indeed, it was a fun night for the Clippers. Heck, even Fergie gave a surprise performance between the first and second quarters that had owner Steve Ballmer dancing like no one was watching.As happy as Rivers was, Scott was that peeved, calling his team “soft” several times postgame.“Very disappointed with the way we played and effort,” he said. “What I said at halftime, I hope they take it to heart and I’ll leave it at that. I thought we came out soft. I’m pretty surprised. Surprised and disappointed. We were soft. No, the Clippers and Lakers are not yet a rivalry, Lakers coach Byron Scott said Wednesday morning.“It’s still a Lakers town. Purple and gold,” he said. “It can’t be a rivalry until both teams are competing for championships.”This may not yet be a rivalry, but the Clippers again showed who is currently boss in Los Angeles by demolishing the Lakers 114-89 Wednesday night before a sellout crowd of 19,487 at Staples Center. The Clippers have now won nine of the past 10 over the Lakers dating back to Nov. 2, 2012.The Clippers led by as many as 43 points at 106-63, so even though this victory came against a Lakers team that is now 11-25, Clippers coach Doc Rivers was stoked that his team was able to stomp a team instead of letting it back into a game, which has been a problem. “I don’t consider a lot of respect for that team over there. They’re a good team, but I don’t consider them a physical basketball team. But they came out and punched us. We were soft, period.”Blake Griffin led the Clippers (24-12) with 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting and also had 10 rebounds and eight assists, falling two assists shy of a triple-double. Chris Paul scored 24 points with 11 assists and made 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Matt Barnes went for 19 points while making 5 of 10 from beyond the arc. J.J. Redick and DeAndre Jordan scored 10 apiece with Jordan pulling down 13 rebounds and blocking three shots.The Clippers led 34-24 after one quarter and the Lakers twice pulled within six points early in the second. Other than that, the Clippers were pounding down on that gas pedal all the way through.Paul noticed.“It was really nice,” he said. “It all started with our defensive intensity and we played with the right pace. Coach stayed on us before the game and told us that we needed to play with a better pace and that starts on the defensive end.”Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 14 points, Jordan Hill and Wayne Ellington had 13 apiece, Jeremy Lin scored 12, Nick Young had 11 and Carlos Boozer scored 10. Lin started in place of Ronnie Price, who was out with a broken nose.Kobe Bryant missed his first eight shots and ended up with four points on 2-of-12 shooting. He did have eight rebounds and seven assists.Rivers praised the defense Barnes played on Bryant, who played more of a facilitator by taking just four shots in the first half. But Barnes did not brag much about it.“In the first half I think he tried to get his team involved,” said Barnes, who played with a touch of the flu. “Second half, he got a little bit more aggressive. But my goal with him is, you know, I’ve guarded him and played him so much, just take away the easy stuff and keep him off the foul line and I think that’s what I did tonight.”Bryant was chagrined.“The game got away from us,” he said. “When it gets away from us, I’m trying to rush things and change momentum and get us back in a little bit.”He gave praise to the Clippers.“They’re just better,” said Bryant, whose team was also missing Wes Johnson (strained hip flexor). “They just got better players and they come at you in waves and they’re deeper. They have a lot of shooters on the floor. We’re short-handed. We miss Ronnie. We miss Wes. We miss their length and we miss that speed and defensive versatility.”The Clippers have won four of their past five, all those victories coming against teams with poor records. The Lakers have lost six of eight.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more