Five takeaways from the Lakers’ Christmas Day win

Lakers center Timofey Mozgov (20) and forward Luol Deng battle Clippers center DeAndre Jordan for a rebound during during their Christmas evening game.
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images)

A win offers breathing room for the Lakers, and on Christmas, they got some.

Fittingly, Nick Young hit the game’s last field goal. He is the only Laker who was also on the team in 2013, the last time the Lakers beat the Clippers before an 11-game losing streak — the longest such streak they’ve had to any team since the franchise moved to Los Angeles.

Here are five takeaways from last night’s 111-102 victory.

1. The Clippers were shorthanded, missing starters Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Raymond Felton, the point guard who started, was battling a fever, and J.J. Redick left the game in the second half with an injury. But the Lakers have also been hurting for most of December. That led Young to offer this: “ A win is a win. Nobody cared when we were hurt and injured. Why should we?”

2. In the second quarter, Brandon Ingram picked up a technical foul. That call seemed to energize him, and he was suddenly more aggressive and assertive offensively.

“I think it just gave me a little more motivation the rest of the game to be even more aggressive with my playmaking,” he said.


Ingram finished the game with 10 points and six rebounds. One basket came on a coast-to-coast play when he scored a driving layup and was fouled. On another play, Ingram leaped toward the basket for a putback dunk on one of Jordan Clarkson’s misses.

“That’s what we see out of Brandon,” Coach Luke Walton said. “That’s what we know he can be.”

3. Walton noted before the game that it seemed as though Julius Randle hadn’t slept much lately. Makes sense, because Randle’s fiancee gave birth to their first child on Friday. Randle’s numbers were strong on Sunday. He had 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

4. Although the Lakers had backup center Tarik Black and reserve point guard Jose Calderon available on Sunday, neither played. Black had tried to return during the Lakers’s recent road trip, but suffered a setback. Calderon was active on Sunday for the first time since injuring his hamstring in Memphis.

5. Luol Deng had another double-double, with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Deng is also the first person Ingram mentioned when he was asked who in the locker room serves as the leader that rallies the Lakers when they hit tough stretches.

Twitter: @taniaganguli