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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Clippers – Game 11

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (2-9) | Los Angeles Clippers (7-5)

 

The Lakers fell to the Clippers 114-101 and have now lost four in a row. To make matters worse, LeBron James was hurt late in the game, as the Lakers fell to 2-9 and Lakers Nation is unhappy.

 

Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

LeBron James missed Monday’s loss at Utah due to a sore foot. He told reporters that rest is the only thing that can help his foot soreness. However, he’s not going to sit out for an extended period, and while he played against the Clippers, his status for back-to-backs will be determined by how he’s feeling.

Patrick Beverley was off the injury report after missing two games due to a non-COVID illness. Lonnie Walker IV was not at the team’s shootaround earlier before the game and was ruled out due to his non-COVID illness.

Darvin Ham told reporters that Dennis Schröder (thumb) is continuing to make progress, but he still has to go through a ramp-up process. There’s no official timetable for his return just yet, but one should come out on both Schröder and Thomas Bryant in the next few days.

Beverley, Austin Reaves, Troy Brown Jr., James, and Anthony Davis were the starters for the Lakers. Davis started things off when he threw a nice dime to James for a bucket. 

But the Clippers promptly made two threes. Brown Jr. responded by hitting his first attempt from the corner and followed it up with a layup to give the Lakers their first lead of the night.

James would then hit his first three, a welcome sign for him as he came into this game shooting at 21.0% from distance. The Lakers led 10-6 early, as Reaves put the clamps on Paul George, locking him up on that possession.

The Clippers would then rip off a run to go up 23-13. Rookie Max Christie, who has impressed the coaching staff with his defense, gets the call off the bench at the 4:04 mark.

Kendrick Nunn would throw up a superb lob to Davis to get his first basket, while Russell Westbrook would have a burst of speed to get to the rim for his first bucket as well. But the Clippers would continue to answer every two the Lakers made with threes.

Ham then deployed a lineup of Westbrook, Nunn, Christie, Brown Jr., and Wenyen Gabriel. That lineup for the Lakers hasn’t logged many minutes together and was very apparent, as 6 foot 5 Terance Mann won a jump over 6 foot 9 Gabriel. After the first quarter, the Lakers found themselves down 38-21, allowing the highest-scoring quarter for the Clippers so far this season.

It was a rough quarter for the Lakers in multiple areas. The Clippers hit 14 of 23 field goals and six threes, with the Lakers committing seven turnovers, where several were unforced, and shooting just 8 for 22 from the field. At least James looked good offensively as he had 8 points (5-of-5 from the field), while George had 15 points.

 

As bad as the Lakers looked in the first, a Reaves floater made it a 12-point game.

 

Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

The Lakers now trailed the Clippers 46-34 by chipping 5 points off the Clippers’ biggest lead of 17 as they headed into a time-out at the 7:18 mark of the 2nd quarter. James, at this point, had yet to miss from the field as he was 6 for six overall and 2 of 2 from three, totaling 16 points.

With better energy on defense out of the last break from the Lake Show, they had back-to-back strong possessions resulting in Clipper misses, with Beverley helping to set the tone.

With a 23-10 start to the 2nd quarter, the Lakers’ best period, Brown Jr.’s three cut the lead to 4. Credit to the Lakers for fighting back in this quarter as they went on a run. They were down 17 but fought back to be only down 2 with Davis’ free throws coming up.

They held the Clippers to 16 points in the 2nd quarter while scoring 31, as it’s 54-52 with the Lake Show trailing at the half. James’ 16 points and Davis’ 11 lead the team.

The third quarter always bites this team, though, even though it was an impressive rally from the Lakers. They had several chances to take the lead but couldn’t get over the hump, as the Clippers didn’t make a three at all in the 2nd quarter.

Into the 3rd quarter, George would block Beverley, and James would chase him down only to get called for a foul. James would then drive to the hoop and make a layup, then throw a stunning pass to Reaves as he scores, and the lead was back down to 6.

Brown Jr. continued to impress in his new role, with three straight pretty offensive moves, a pair of tough reverse layups, and a step-back jumper, to tie the game at 71. He had 14 points on 6 of 8 field goals.

But the Clippers would burst out on a 13-2 run. After three quarters, the Lakers trailed the Clippers 87-75. All game, James was trying to overcome this deficit by himself, but suddenly, he headed to the locker room after coming down awkwardly due to getting fouled. He wouldn’t return to the game due to left leg soreness.

After James exited the game at the 5:41 mark, the Clippers wrapped things up pretty quickly, as the final score read 114-101. The Lakers’ fourth straight loss dropped them to 2-9. 

 

Key Takeaways

 

Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: Keith Birmingham/Getty Images

James, before exiting, had 30 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. He was also a game-worst -17 in plus/minus. Davis had 21 points and nine rebounds. Westbrook, who has been on fire recently, cooled off in this one posting just 14 points on 6-15 overall and 0-3 from three, along with nine assists and four turnovers.

The Lakers outscored the Clippers 31-16 in the 2nd quarter but couldn’t sustain the energy and lost 114-101. The Clippers were also 5-point favorites heading into this game over James’ Lakers without Kawhi Leonard.

George led the way as he finished with 29 points and six rebounds, and Norman Powell was crucial off the bench as he contributed 18 points. The Clippers also made 20-26 (76.9%) free throws to help put them over the Lake Show.

The Lakers again struggled to shoot the ball as they totaled 31.3% (10-32) from three and 64.7% (11-17) from the free throw line.

Ham told reporters that James would undergo further evaluation by the medical staff to determine specifics about the left leg discomfort that forced him out of the 4th quarter. James remains hopeful to be in the lineup against Sacramento.

James, frustrated with his lack of foul calls this season, told reporters that this is the third straight game the referees have said to him that they missed calls that should’ve led to free throws for him.

I need to learn to flop or something,” James said.

 

The Lakers will again be home on Friday night as they take on the Sacramento Kings. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Crypto.com Arena. The game will be available on Spectrum SportsNet and NBA League Pass.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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