Clippers finish off season sweep of rival Lakers
The Los Angeles Clippers are the kings of Los Angeles, at least for the regular season.
The Clippers completed a three-game season sweep over their crosstown rivals, steamrolling the Los Angeles Lakers 118-94 on Thursday at Staples Center.
The top shooting 3-point team in the NBA, the Clippers put that skill set on display, making 11 of 19 (57.9 percent) from beyond the arc in the first half to put the game away early.
All five starters for the Clippers finished in double figures. Paul George led the way with 24 points and contributed seven rebounds. Kawhi Leonard totaled 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Ivica Zubac added 14 points and eight rebounds. Marcus Morris Sr. and Reggie Jackson had 10 points apiece.
— NBA (@NBA) May 7, 2021
DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo contributed 11 points off the bench.
Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 25 points. Montrezl Harrell totaled 14 points, and Alex Caruso added eight points and seven assists.
Lakers star Anthony Davis appeared to tweak his right ankle in the opening quarter and had to go back to the locker room for further evaluation. However, the Lakers announced that Davis had back spasms and would not return. He finished with four points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field.
The Lakers say that Anthony Davis has back spasms and will not return. pic.twitter.com/8EGccURDYpADVERTISEMENT
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 7, 2021
Davis said postgame, “The ankle is fine. … I’ll wake up and test it out but the plan is for me to go tomorrow.”
With the victory, the Clippers swept the season series against the Lakers for the first time since the 2015-16 season. The Clippers (45-22) moved past the Denver Nuggets (44-22) into the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference with the win.
With the loss, the Lakers (37-29) are now tied with the Portland Trail Blazers (37-29) for the No. 6 seed. The Lakers face the Blazers in Portland in the second of back-to-back games on Friday.
The Lakers have now lost seven of their past nine games.
The hot-shooting Clippers jumped out to a 29-20 lead in the opening quarter. The Clippers pushed the advantage to as many as 24 points in the second quarter and took a 65-42 lead into the locker room at the half — the first time the Lakers were down by 20-plus points at halftime over the last two seasons — and the rout was on.
The Lakers played without LeBron James (right high ankle sprain), Dennis Schroder (health and safety protocols) and Talen Horton-Tucker (right calf strain).
With the team missing three of its top playmakers, Caruso started a second straight game at point guard. The Lakers struggled to create shots on the offensive end of the floor, shooting 37.9 percent from the field compared with 53.2 percent for the Clippers for the game.
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