Paul scores 30 as Clippers edge Lakers in Staples Center
LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul had 30 points and 13 assists, Blake Griffin added 24 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way in beating the Lakers 107-102 on Friday night.
Kobe Bryant scored 38 points and Dwight Howard had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who lost for the second time this season to their Staples Center co-tenants.
Bryant carried the Lakers in the fourth quarter when they closed to 99-97 on his 23-foot jumper with 1:29 left. But Paul scored the Clippers’ final eight points to seal the victory and drop the Lakers two games below .500. The Clippers lead the Lakers by 10 games in the standings.
The Lakers continue to struggle under new coach Mike D’Antoni. They’ve lost three of their last four games.
The Clippers shot 50 percent and dominated the paint, 52-36.
Bryant scored 16 points in the fourth, when the Lakers rallied from 19 points down. The Clippers fouled for much of the final 5:51. Howard missed two free throws but then made two to get the Lakers within four before Bryant’s jumper left them trailing 99-97.
The Lakers got within three early in the third only to have the Clippers push their lead to 10 points.
It was a similar situation in the second, when the Lakers got within five points on Bryant’s 3-pointer before the Clippers ran their lead back to 10 points by halftime.
The Clippers had dropped two consecutive road games earlier in the week, when their 17-game winning streak was snapped.