Lakers vs. Clippers: Live updates from final exhibition game
The Hallway Rivalry has taken a sharp turn toward the Clippers.
Blake Griffin put on a dazzling display of moves on the way to 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds, leading the Clippers to a 108-103 victory over the Lakers in both teams' final exhibition game Wednesday night at Staples Center.
The Clippers swept the two-game preseason series, but there was drama in the second meeting that had been lacking in the Lakers' 19-point loss two days earlier.
The Lakers had two chances to tie in the final minute after Andrew Bynum made one of two free throws to slice the Clippers' lead to 104-101.
On their first possession, the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan blocked a shot by Metta World Peace. On the next, the Lakers' Matt Barnes was called for an offensive foul.
Clippers guard Randy Foye made two free throws with 15 seconds left to extend the Clippers' lead to five points.
The Lakers got back into the game on the strength of six three-pointers in the fourth quarter, including two by World Peace. Bynum finished with 26 points on 11-for-15 shooting and Steve Blake had 18 points after making five of seven three-pointers.
Griffin made several crowd-pleasing plays in the fourth quarter. He pump-faked the Lakers' Troy Murphy into the air before elevating for a one-handed dunk; he had a three-point play after making a layup and drawing a foul; he made a one-handed runner in the lane; and finally a fadeaway jumper over Murphy.
Caron Butler and Mo Williams added 16 points apiece for the Clippers, who won in large part by scoring 30 points off 22 Lakers turnovers. The Clippers committed only six turnovers.
Steve Blake had 20 points for the Lakers, making five of seven three-pointers. The Lakers lost despite shooting 54.8% to the Clippers' 48.2% and outrebounding the Clippers, 44-27.
Third quarters haven't been the Lakers' specialty.
The Clippers obliterated them in the third quarter Monday and it was pretty much the same story Wednesday night at Staples Center. The Clippers outscored the Lakers, 30-17, wiping out a three-point halftime deficit to move onto the verge of sweeping the two-game exhibition Hallway Series.
At least this time the Lakers had the excuse of not having Kobe Bryant, who was sidelined by a torn wrist ligament. Clippers point guard Chris Paul was throwing his usual array of lobs, with one going to DeAndre Jordan for a dunk and another going to Blake Griffin for a dunk.
Lakers forward Matt Barnes became a villain among Clippers Nation when he pushed Griffin to the floor midway through the quarter, earning a flagrant foul.
There was also an inevitable Metta World Peace name slipup by the Clippers' public-address announcer, who said a Laker had entered the game to replace "Ron Artest."
World Peace finally made a shot in the second quarter, by the way, but he's made only one of seven attempts for the game and he's missed all of his three-point attempts.
Andrew Bynum had six points in the quarter, giving him 23 for the game. Griffin has 20 points for the Clippers.
Lakers 56, Clippers 53 (halftime)
Maybe Andrew Bynum was listening when Magic Johnson said the center and teammate Pau Gasol had to have "banner years" for the Lakers to have a successful season.
Bynum certainly had a banner first half against the Clippers, scoring 17 points on eight-for-10 shooting to go with seven rebounds. There was a thunderous dunk and a baby hook among the array of impressive post moves Bynum made.
Gasol also had a productive half, scoring 10 points while making all five shots for the Lakers, who shot 58.1% to the Clippers' 44.4% and did not seem nearly as befuddled on defense as they did Monday during a 19-point loss to their fellow Staples Center tenants.
Blake Griffin had a monstrous dunk off a lob from Chris Paul, and the big man even threw a lob to fellow big man DeAndre Jordan for another dunk on the way to getting 10 points and five assists in the half. But Griffin was the only Clipper in double figures scoring.
Devin Ebanks appears to have taken the lead in the battle for the Lakers' starting small forward spot, making four of six shots while scoring eight points in 12 minutes. Matt Barnes, also vying for that spot, did not play in the first half.
Lakers 36, Clippers 33 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers won't have Kobe Bryant for their final exhibition game because the star guard is sitting out with a torn ligament in his right wrist.
But they looked like a different team -- in a good way -- in the first quarter against the Clippers.
Steve Blake came off the bench to make a trio of three-pointers, Devin Ebanks had eight points on four-for-six shooting and Derek Fisher, playing for the first time in the preseason, had five assists.
Blake Griffin had eight points and Mo Williams seven for the Clippers, who are going for a two-game sweep in the Hallway Rivalry.
Metta World Peace still hasn't made a shot in the preseason for the Lakers, airballing a three-pointer late in the quarter. He missed both of his shots.
-- Ben Bolch
Photo: Lakers forward Metta World Peace, right, tries to keep the ball away from the Clippers' Caron Butler, left, and Chris Paul during the Clippers' 108-103 exhibition victory Wednesday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times