Clarkson has drifted out of the Lakers' rotation over the last 10 games, making just two appearances for a total of 14 minutes.
With the D-Fenders in El Segundo Saturday night, Clarkson played 23 minutes, scoring eight points with six assists and five turnovers.
Lakers' affiliate player Roscoe Smith (small forward) scored a season-high 38 points on 17-of-19 shooting, while pulling down nine rebounds. Former Lakers guard-forward Manny Harris notched a triple-double with 23 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes.
Appling's free throw with 5.4 seconds left proved to be the game-winner.
Forward Brady Heslip led the Bighorns with 38 points, making seven of 19 shots from long range.
Saturday was Clarkson's third game with the Lakers' NBA Development League affiliate. He's averaging 18.3 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds.
Like the Lakers, the D-Fenders have had a difficult time winning games thus far this season, improving to 2-8 with the victory over Reno.
Clarkson is expected to be in uniform on Sunday when the Lakers host the New Orleans Pelicans (8-10).