The Los Angeles Clippers continued their mastery over the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night winning 116-109 over the defending Champions on ring night. With an attendance of 0 in Staples Center, which has a capacity for basketball of 19,067, the Clippers never relinquished the lead in the battle of LA. The Lakers are the prohibitive favorite to repeat in the 2020-21 season, while the Clippers are in need of redemption after a miserable end to their 2019-20 season.
So far, so good for the Clippers.
Star of the game
Paul George. The Lakers made a game of it in the third quarter which is exactly when PG (in need of redemption himself) got hot. I mean very hot; en fuego category hot. He went 6-6 from the field in that quarter, 2-2 from three helping the Clippers get the lead back to double-digits going into the final quarter. George finished with 33 points.
For the Clippers, that as to be Luke Kennard. It’s not a huge concern considering this is only game #1, but a 4 point game in 21 minutes of play is not encouraging. Worse, the guy known for his long distance shooting was 0-3 from deep and one of those was WIDE open. For the Lakers, no real big concerns. They lost game 1 last season too and ended up OK in the end.
I was surprised to see Nicolas Batum start for the Clippers. Offensively, he didn’t offer much with only 3 points on 1-4 shooting, but he is a veteran presence. Someone who doesn’t make mistakes and played surprisingly good defense. For the Lakers it is getting to be less and less of a surprise, but what about Talen Horton-Tucker? In 11 minutes of play he didn’t miss a shot or a free throw and included a rebound and steal for good measure. The not-yet-able-to-legally-drink youngster is a “stat-stuffer” who is going to find his way into the regular rotation for this Lakers team.