Lakers vs. Clippers: In-game report
Clippers 102, Lakers 91 (final)
The last time the Lakers lost to the Clippers was April of 2007, a span of nine consecutive games.
For what was supposed to be a cross-down rivalry, a rivalry in which both teams share Staples Center, it had been lopsided in recent years, all in favor of the Lakers.
But the Lakers were unable to keep control of the Clippers, who built a 15-point lead and rolled in for their third straight win in their home game at Staples Center.
The Lakers tied the score twice, at 81-81 and 83-83, but never could get over the hump.
The Lakers began the game not playing with energy, with enough effort, and it cost them in the end in a back-to-back game.
They looked liked a tired team, a team that is not sharp right now.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 33 points, but he was just 10-for-30 from the field. He also had eight assists.
The Clippers had five players score in double-figures, led by Baron Davis' 25 points and 10 assists.
The Lakers fell to 28-7, but they still have the best record in the NBA.
Next up for the Lakers are the Trail Blazers in Portland, a place where the Lakers have lost nine consecutive games.
Clippers 79, Lakers 73 (third quarter)
During one sretch in the third quarter, Kobe Bryant scored 14 consecutive points for the Lakers
The Lakers had fallen into a 15-point hole in the third and Bryant seemed bent on bringing the Lakers by all by himself.
He certainly did his part, scoring 17 points in the third.
When Shannon Brown made a three-pointer off a pass from a double-teamed Bryant, the Lakers had pulled to within 75-71.
Now it was a game.
Clippers 52, Lakers 43 (halftime)
The Lakers didn't share the basketball very much in the first half.
And as a result, the Lakers shot the ball poorly.
The Lakers had just eight assists in the first half. Clippers guard Baron Davis had seven, one less than the entire Lakers' team.
The Lakers shot just 34.1% from the field, which was another poor shooting night for them.
The Clippers made 46.8% of their shots.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 12 points, but he was only three of 13 from the field.
Late in the second quarter, Shannon Brown tried to go one-on-one against Baron Davis.
But Davis blocked Brown's shot, forcing the Lakers into a 24-second violation.
Now remember that Brown has tremendous leaping ability, but this time Davis got the best of him.
Both Davis and Brown laughed at the play.
Lakers 26, Clippers 25 (first quarter)
One of the more interesting matchups was between centers Andrew Bynum and Chris Kaman.
Bynum and Kaman have aspirations of making the All-Star team.
They went at each other in the first quarter.
Bynum had eight points on four-for-10 shooting and five rebounds in the quarter for the Lakers.
Kaman countered with six points on two-for-six shooting and five rebounds for the Clippers.
The Lakers have defeated the Clippers nine consecutive games, and if it's up to Coach Phil Jackson, that streak will extend to 10.
But Jackson knows that the Clippers have the talent to give them problems.
"I think we started out the season saying this is a team that has a shot at making the playoffs, for sure," Jackson said. "They're talented enough to do so."
With that in mind, Jackson wants his team to be ready for a tough game against the Clippers in their home game at Staples Center Wednesday night.
Jackson was hopeful that Ron Artest, who played his first game Tuesday night after missing the previous five with a concussion, has a better outing.
Jackson also said that Lamar Odom, who has been suffering from intestinal flu symptoms, still wasn't feeling that well on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Pau Gasol, who missed his second consecutive game with a strained left hamstring, had a workout that left the Lakers impressed.
"He worked pain-free," Jackson said. "So, that's nice to know."
-- Broderick Turner