Clippers’ rout of Lakers doesn’t count . . . well, maybe a little
It was hardly the Battle of L.A.
That was last week, when Chris Paul ended up with the Clippers instead of their sun-is-always-shining rivals down the hall at Staples Center.
Score another one for the Clippers, though, who beat the Lakers in an exhibition opener, 114-95, Monday night.
It was a small-scale victory to be remembered by nobody in a week, but the Clippers will take what they can get against the Lakers.
They looked younger and hungrier after the long lockout layoff, and they’ll get another chance to prove it Wednesday when the teams meet again at Staples Center.
The Clippers had plenty of fun, turning an exhibition game into an exhibition.
Chris Paul wore a Clippers uniform for the first time and had 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, showing why the Lakers wanted him too.
Chauncey Billups also looked like a great pickup, scoring 23 points in 20 minutes after being claimed off waivers from New York last week.
“It was a little extra for me personally,” said Paul, acquired from New Orleans for Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first-round pick next June.
“This is my first time ever putting on a different uniform. So it was fun to get up and down most of all because we’ve been competing against each other in practice.”
The Clippers led by five at halftime but pulled away with a 36-point third quarter. Their highlights were spread throughout the night.
Paul lobbed a pass to DeAndre Jordan for a dunk. Paul bounced a pass to Blake Griffin for a dunk. Billups threw the ball off the backboard for Griffin to catch and dunk.
Nobody could blame the Lakers if they didn’t take this one too seriously, but there wasn’t much for their fans to enjoy.
The attention the Lakers paid to defense in training camp dried up and blew away, the Clippers scoring 91 points in three quarters.
“Ugly game from us,” Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. “What bothers me is when we have guys tonight not even contest shots.”
Brown said the Lakers gave up too many “H-O-R-S-E shots,” with defenders acting like they were playing backyard basketball. He also didn’t like the number of “blow-bys” from Clippers ball-handlers.
There were issues on offense too.
Metta World Peace missed all eight of his shots. Matt Barnes started at small forward and was scoreless.
Andrew Bynum had 15 points but wasn’t very efficient, making five of 11 shots and five of 11 free-throw attempts. He had 12 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant had 22 points, making 12 of 15 free-throw attempts, and Pau Gasol had 16 points.
Derek Fisher was given a night off, allowing rookie point guard Darius Morris to become one of the few Lakers standouts. He had 11 points and showed decent poise for a second-round pick.
The Clippers haven’t won a season series against the Lakers since 1992-93, something to keep in mind when the real games begin.
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