On this wonderful Easter Sunday afternoon, the Los Angeles Clippers (33-18) defeated their crosstown rival the Los Angeles Lakers 104-86 (31-19) handily on the Clippers’ version of homecourt at Staples Center. The Clippers are usually the ones who come out in a lull for afternoon games, but this afternoon it was the Lakers who did so. The Lakers hardly ever play Sunday afternoon games, and they looked very much like they were not used to it to start the game. The Clippers were the ones who came out fired up and they looked good on both ends of the floor. They always get up to play their rivals no matter what time the game starts.
The Lakers fell behind early and never caught up. They have been without their best players LeBron James and Anthony Davis for awhile now. However they had playing fairly well despite this, winning 4 out of their last 5. The Clippers really took it the Lakers defensively, holding them to 20 points or less in the first 3 quarters. They let go of the rope a bit in the 4th, allowing them to score 31; but the game had already been decided by that point. The Clippers had lost two in a row before today. Seeing the Lakers was exactly what they needed to get back on track. They did so impressively building a lead as much as 24, forcing 18 turnovers, and holding the Lakers to just 40% shooting as well as their lowest scoring output of the season so far.
STAR OF THE GAME
Kawhi Leonard and his 19 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals. Kawhi came out determined to establish control of the game early and he did so. He had his team playing with a purpose from the opening tip. They took a lead and never looked back. Kawhi did not get over 20 points but he made 8 out of 15 shots. He also filled the rest of the stat sheet; ending the game with a near triple-double. He very well could have gotten his 20+ points if he had not sat in the final minutes of the game after it had already essentially won.
In the end the only stat that truly matters are not numbers but letters, and Kawhi got his team the W. LeBron wasn’t out there for Kawhi to take it to, but Kawhi looked focused nonetheless. The Lakers have not won a season series against the Clippers in 10 seasons now. They don’t look like they will be doing so anytime soon. As long as Kawhi is on the team at least.
Integrating Rondo. We finally saw the newly acquired point guard Rajon Rondo in a Clippers uniform today but he did not look so good. He had 2 points, and 4 turnovers to go along with his 3 assists. This was his first action with the team, so it is not out of the ordinary for there to be be some growing pains to start out. Hopefully these wrinkles get ironed out sooner rather than later. ,There is not a very much time left in the season for them to do so.
Rondo and the team should be able to adjust before the playoffs, as long as they put Rondo out there. Rajon has been plagued with injuries throughout his career. He was sitting the past several games due to some sort of strain. There is a balancing act here with getting Rondo acclimated to his new team, and keeping him healthy and ready to play at a high level going into the playoffs.
Marcus Morris Sr. and his 22 points. Morris was playing against his twin brother Markieff Morris today, and he tends to step up his game when he does so. He hardly missed a shot today making 9 out of 13 shots overall and 4 out of 5 from the 3 point line. He played well defensively too. His twin was his man on defense whenever they were out there at the same time. He kept him to just 9 points on 4 out of 10 shooting and 0 for 3 from 3.
Morris has played pretty well since moving into the starting lineup. This was one of his better games of the season so far. If we can get this level of output from him close to every night going forward, I do not see how the Clippers could ever lose a game. Well at least not ever get blown out again. Why couldn’t he have played this way in the last game against Denver? Marcus just needs to pretend he is playing against his brother every night.
Vs Portland Trail blazers, Tuesday April 6th at 7:00PM
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THE CLIPPERS TAKE LA THE CLIPPERS TAKE LA THE CLIPPERS TAKE LA THE CLIPPERS TAKE LA