Clippers dominate Lakers from start to finish in 106-78 rout

Clippers dominate Lakers from start to finish in 106-78 rout
Clippers forward Blake Griffin strips the ball from Lakers forward Carlos Boozer in the first half. (Michael Nelson / EPA)

By now there are no surprises left in the Lakers' season. None.

The final score Sunday certainly didn't present one — 106-78, Clippers.


The Lakers kept stumbling toward lottery land while the Clippers hosted an in-game dunk contest against the team that fell 31 games behind them in the standings.

It's true. The Lakers are 20-56, the Clippers 52-26 and, in a really bad news cycle for the Lakers, they play again Tuesday. In a designated Clippers home game. With sixth man Jamal Crawford possibly returning for the Clippers after a monthlong absence because of a calf injury.

Blake Griffin had 18 points, Chris Paul had 15 assists and the night brought to mind the Lakers' worst loss ever, a 142-94 shellacking by the Clippers last season.

That one had the awkward postgame moment of the year, former Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni trying to meet with reporters while loud music emanated from the adjacent Clippers' locker room, complete with players singing and shouting in delight.

There were no audible noises through the wall this time, but the excitement went out of Staples Center long before the final points were scored.

Lakers fans started heading for the exits midway through the fourth quarter, their team well on the way to a sixth consecutive loss against the Clippers for the first time ever.

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had 16 points, including two third-quarter dunks that violently rattled the basketball support in front of the Lakers' bench, not to mention the 24-second clock on top of the basket and a TV camera posted on top of that.

"We just can't turn it up like they can," Lakers Coach Byron Scott said.

Another impressive play was Paul's off-the-backboard pass to Griffin in a three-on-none toward the end of the third quarter.

"I thought he was going to bounce it. He thought he was going to bounce it," Griffin said laughing. "When he threw it off [the backboard], it skimmed the rim. So I was like thinking to myself, 'Don't mess this up.'"

The Clippers' starters left for good with an 83-54 lead after the third quarter. The Lakers were shooting 35% at the time and already racked up an asinine 16 turnovers.

Wesley Johnson had 16 points, Tarik Black had 10 points and nine rebounds, and that might have been all to document for the Lakers, except Jordan Clarkson fell back after a surge in stats, totaling only two points on one-for-six shooting and three assists.

The Clippers didn't only dominate with dunks. Paul drew a murmur from the crowd after dribbling through the legs of Lakers forward Carlos Boozer near half court.

Then he streamed down the right side, blew past Lakers rookie Jabari Brown and fed Austin Rivers alone up top for a three-pointer. The Clippers led, 72-49. There were about three minutes left in the third quarter and the Lakers still hadn't cracked 50 points.


"I think they feel they can go all the way and win the championship. That's how they should feel," Scott said before the game. "I wouldn't be surprised if they got to the Western Conference finals or to the NBA championship."

The Clippers have won 10 of their last 11 games against the Lakers, not that Coach Doc Rivers was counting.

"We have to win for a long time. The Lakers, their footprint's here and it's going to be here forever, and it should be," he said.

"I don't get into that [intra-city] 'competition'… their footprint's pretty solid. It's Shaq size."

Not on Sunday. The Clippers led from start to end, by as many as 43 in their latest show of power.