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Clippers defeat Lakers for last laugh
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On January 5, 2013 @ 3:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES — The last laugh would eventually be the Clippers’ to have, but the Lakers were sneaking in a few snickers of their own long before their turf war had even tipped off on Friday night at Staples Center.
Inside this Lakers locker room where the good times have been so few and far between this season, Dwight Howard and Earl Clark found great pleasure in a video clip starring Blake Griffin from two nights before. The Clippers forward had shot a baseline jumper off the side of the backboard in a loss at Golden State, and the Warriors players on the bench – like these Lakers in this moment – found that to be far funnier than those car commercials Griffin stars in. So Howard howled, then rewound the tape and did it all over again.
By the time the Clippers were done toying with the Lakers in a 107-102 win to end a two-game-losing-streak, all the jeers and chuckles and frivolity were coming from the fans in red and blue who reveled in their once-woeful team’s latest statement. The Clippers played around so much after leading by as many as 18 points that they blew the game altogether, but two late Chris Paul free throws and a snazzy step-back jumper from the point guard over Kobe Bryant with 19.9 seconds left put an end to it.
Rest assured, Howard and the Lakers won’t be laughing when they watch the tape of this one.
With 4:25 to go and the Clippers up 98-89, four straight scoreless possessions coupled with six straight free throws from Jodie Meeks (four) and Howard (two) brought the Lakers closer than they had been since late in the second quarter. Kobe Bryant made it 99-97 with 1:29 remaining, hitting a 23-footer over former teammate Matt Barnes while chewing on his jersey during his 38-point night.
But Paul, who looked the part of MVP candidate while finishing with 30 points, 13 assists and six rebounds, wasn’t about to let this one get away after the Clippers had followed their franchise-record 17-game winning streak with losses at Denver and Golden State. … [For more on Clippers defeat Lakers for last laugh in battle of L.A., click here.]
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