Five takeaways from the Clippers’ defeat of the Lakers
The Clippers defeated the Lakers 108-92 in the season opener for both teams on Thursday night at Staples Center.
Here are five takeaways from the Clippers’ season-opening victory over the Lakers:
1. Patrick Beverley went eye-to-eye with Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, instigating, prodding, bumping and shoving the prized rookie.
This was Beverley’s way of welcoming Ball to the NBA, letting him know that his bombastic dad, LaVar Ball, had put a target on Lonzo because of LaVar’s yapping about the greatness of his son.
So Beverley was chest to chest with Ball as soon as he got the inbound pass to start the game.
Ball pushed away Beverley, who stumbled for a second before gathering himself. When the two got to half court, Beverley shoved Ball and was called for a foul. In the second quarter, Beverley picked the ball away from Ball and waltzed in for a layup.
“I told him after the game: man, due to all the riff-raff his dad brings, that he’s going to get a lot of people coming at him,” Beverley said. “He has to be ready for that, and I let him know that after the game.”
Beverley didn’t just set his sights on Ball.
And Beverley yelled, “first team,” to the crowd in the second quarter after he forced Lakers center Brook Lopez into an offensive foul while setting a screen for Ball.
“I just tried to set the tone,” said Beverley, who was on the NBA All-Defensive Team
He played 24 minutes, 7 seconds, finishing with 10 points and two steals.
He had been dealing with a sore right knee that had kept him out of the last two exhibition games and some practices.
“It was kind of tight in the beginning,” Beverley said. “But it loosened up throughout the game … and you can tell when it loosened up, I was able to move the way I wanted. But I’m knocking off rust, knocking off rust the first game.”
2. Blake Griffin was aggressive against the Lakers. He finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds.
Griffin even took six three-pointers, making three. He took a game-high 23 shots, making 12.
3. DeAndre Jordan began this season with a goal, which he stated on his Instagram account after he had collected 24 rebounds.
“This season, I’ll be donating $100 per rebound to Help Rebuild my hometown of Houston from the destruction of Hurricane Harvey. Tonight: 24 rebounds = $2,400.”
Jordan had 16 of those rebounds in the first half. Nine of his rebounds were on the offensive end, giving the Clippers more scoring opportunities.
“I just try to see where the ball is going and go after it,” Jordan said. “I just keep going after the ball.”
4. The Clippers have defeated the Lakers in 19 of their last 21 games, and this game began to unfold like so many of the Clippers’ wins over the Lakers.
The Clippers took a nine-point lead in the first quarter, increased it to 15 in the second and opened a 30-point lead in the fourth before coasting to the win.
5. Wesley Johnson was on point against the Lakers, showing his all-around skills.
Johnson had nine points on four-for-seven shooting, including one of two on three-pointers.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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