The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the LA Clippers, 103-101, in a highly entertaining match, thanks to LeBron James and his magnificent sequence in the final moments of the game. King James closed the contest with a go-ahead basket which would later turn out to be decisive, and with a ferocious defense on the other side of the court.
LeBron scored two points for 103-101 with 12.8 seconds until the end, previously missing a floater, but grabbing an offensive board and correcting his mistake. The Clippers had the last possession, and the ball went to Kawhi Leonard, who couldn’t do anything because of James’ tough defense.
The Claw handed the ball to Paul George, who tried to get rid of James and shoot for three, but the LAL superstar was constantly near him. In the end, PG did have his downtown attempt, yet from a very tough position, which led to a miss.
“I love having the ball in my hands, take the game, tie game, being down, being up,” said LeBron. “For me it just being aggressive.”
James wasn’t very inspired when it came to scoring tonight, having just 16 points. However, he did post 11 dimes and 7 boards, organizing the Lakers’ game perfectly.
On other guy was more in the mood for delivering points, and that was Anthony Davis who dropped 34 on the Clippers’ defense. The Eyebrow added 8 boards and four assists, missing only one of his 17 free throw attempts.
He completely used Montrezl Harrell’s absence, exploiting the shortened rotation of the Clips’ under the rim. AD was finding the way to hurt the rivals from all over the floor, blasting threes, going under the rim, around the pain, etc.
The game itself saw a lot of ups and downs from both sides. At first, it were the Lakers who played well, easily reaching a 35-23 at the end of the first period. However, the purple and gold slowed down in the second sequence, not being able to respond to LAC’s reaction.
The start of the second half was even more problematic for Frank Vogel’s boys, who allowed a 14-1 run of the rivals to find themselves ina double-digit deficit. Lakers, however, regained their balance in the game, leveling the score until the end of the period.
An 11-1 burst early in the final quarter, led the LAL to 91-80, and when many believed that the game was over, we once again witnessed a comeback. The Clippers made this contest a dramatic one in the last moments; still, they weren’t able to take the victory.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard were the two best players in their group. George scored 30 points, 6-for-11 for three, 11-for-17 from the field, with five boards and three steals. Meanwhile, Kawhi delivered 28 points, 11-for-13 from the free-throw line, with four assists.
Patrick Beverly had 12, and Reggie Jackson 10 for the Clips, who missed Lou Williams and Harrell. It was obvious that the lack of their usual contribution was the difference in the Lakers’ favor tonight.
“At the end of the day, it was a competition, and you can feel that out on the floor,” said Rivers after the match. “You can’t make as many mistakes as we did in one game, and be shorthanded.”
The Clippers will meet the New Orleans Pelicans who lost against the Utah Jazz in an equally interesting match. On the other side, the Lakers are about to face the reigning NBA champion, the Toronto Raptors. Both of these games are scheduled for Saturday.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.