Friday, March 31 2023

The Los Angeles Clippers have dominated their roommates, the Los Angeles Lakers, of late and another victory is up for grabs when the two teams meet in their shared downtown building.

The Clippers will take an eight-game winning streak over the Lakers into Wednesday’s second meeting of the season. This time, the Clippers will be the home team after they defeated the host Lakers 103-97 in the season opener.

The Clippers also enter off their best victory of the season when they rallied from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit and used a late 15-0 run to earn a 119-117 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. The result ended Cleveland’s eight-game winning streak.

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has missed the last eight games with ongoing issues with his knee, so Paul George has expanded his already large presence. George scored 26 points Monday, including a key three-point play in the final minute that pushed his team in front.

George has averaged 25.0 points per game, but has delivered even more at 31.0 points per game over the last five contests. The Clippers have gone 4-1 in those games to rebound from a four-game losing streak.

Forward Terance Mann has stepped up with his first double-digit scoring games of the season in the last two contests. Mann had a season-best 16 points Monday on 6-of-9 shooting.

“He defended, created offense for himself, created offense for the team and when he’s aggressive it changes our team,” George said. “If we can get T Mann on that level on a nightly basis, he elevates our team.”

Now the Clippers face the Lakers, who they haven’t lost to since July 30, 2020. The Lakers still have a 150-82 advantage in the all-time series.

The Lakers will enter off a 139-116 road defeat to the Utah Jazz on Monday.

Anthony Davis scored 29 points for the Lakers on Monday with LeBron James out because of left foot soreness. The Lakers also were without scoring guard Lonnie Walker IV (illness) and defensive-minded guard Patrick Beverley (illness). Utah shot 55.8 percent from the field.

“It seems like we’ve lost all our defensive intensity, and that’s what’s killing us,” Davis said. “It sucks to be 2-8. We had enough to win this game. We’ve got enough to win every game.”

The Lakers’ Darvin Ham is having a rough start to his coaching career. The Lakers lost their first five games, pulled off consecutive victories, then lost their last three, including two to the Jazz in that stretch.

“It’s not going to always be like this,” Ham said. “We’re going to turn the corner. I didn’t come here to lose. They didn’t bring me here to lose. But there is a process involved where we have to go through tough times.”

Russell Westbrook scored 22 points off the bench for the Lakers on Monday and has averaged 16.3 points per game in nine contests, with three of those as a starter. It would be his lowest points-per-game average since his second season in 2009-10 with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

–Field Level Media

Source: Yahoo Sports


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