Video Credit: NBA

New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Clippers- Game 53

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (25-28) | Los Angeles Clippers (27-27)


It came down to the wire last night in Los Angeles, but the Clippers hung on for the 111-110 victory over the Lakers.


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

The Clippers have now won 30 of the last 37 matchups against the Lakers, a defining stat, to say the least. The two teams matched up for the second time this year, as the battle of Arena was on. The Clippers have now taken the first two of their four matchups this season, as their regular-season dominance on the Lakers continued. With how things are turning out in the standings for both teams, this one played out like a possible playoff preview.

The Lakers found offense in Anthony Davis early again, as he put up three quick buckets to start. The Clippers had it going in their favor right away, however, as Nicolas Batum was a bully early with two blocks and a steal in just over a minute. Both teams kept it close throughout the first, but the Clippers‘ defense helped stop any momentum.

Luke Kennard would break the tie with a three, but Talen Horton-Tucker responded with a fadeaway posting six points in the quarter for the Lakers. The Clippers put one more on the board to end the first, as they led by two heading into the second. Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George were sidelined again in this one, but both teams found a way to keep things interesting.

Carmelo Anthony picked up right where he left off against Portland to start the second, draining two threes on contested shots. The game remained tied, however, with 11 lead changes in the first half alone. Davis threw three dunks down with authority in the final minutes of the half, but Marcus Morris Sr. seemed to have a response for everything.  While he and Serge Ibaka helped maintain a slight lead for the Clippers, Reggie Jackson started his dominant night by capping the first half off with a three.

Malik Monk proved his passing abilities in the first half for the Lakers, as he found Anthony Davis four times at the rim. The defense held Reggie Jackson early, but Luke Kennard was more than effective from three in the half. To Laker Nation’s dismay, Carmelo Anthony appeared to injure his hamstring in the second quarter as he walked off, unable to finish in this one. Injuries are like Kryptonite for the Lakers this year, and they can only hope their hot hand isn’t sidelined for long.

The big men were back and forth early for both teams, with Davis having 15 points at the half countering Ibaka’s 14. It was a 9-3 run for the Clippers right before the break that put them up 6, but the Lakers had a chance to regroup and make something happen.


The Lakers lost Carmelo Anthony to injury in the first half, as they looked to pick him up down 60-45.   


Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: Allen J. Schaben/L.A. Times

Morris must’ve gained great feedback from his coaches at halftime, as he was rolling again to start the third. Ibaka followed with more aggressive offense and a block of Davis, but Reggie Jackson woke up with two threes that had the Lakers down 12. Davis had nothing to be ashamed of, however, posting 10 points in the quarter to put his total at 25 on the night. The problem was lackluster defense, and the Clippers seemed more than confident driving for tough finishes.

With 17 points, the largest lead of the night for the Clippers, up 12, they began to witness an immediate response in the final quarter. Austin Reaves continued to do what he’s done all year, energizing the Laker bench with a dunk to start. Westbrook would follow with six straight points, and the deficit was cut to just 4.

Down six as the final quarter played out, Trevor Ariza hit a pivotal three on more great passing by Malik Monk. The Clippers wanted this one, as they continually stopped any run the Lakers could find. Malik Monk completed an and-1 to put them down by just one, however, allowing Westbrook to prove his critics wrong again by hitting a jumper, finally giving them the lead. Reggie Jackson and Morris couldn’t be stopped as the game intensified, trading baskets with Monk and Davis in the final minutes. With 12.5 left on the clock, Davis was met at the rim by Westbrook’s passing to put the Lakers up 1.

While Jackson scored inside on the counter, the Lakers had one possession to get it done. Davis drove all the way and put up a running floater that might’ve saved serious morale for the Lakers, but it rattled out, and the Clippers secured the game. Four lead changes in the final 30 seconds had everyone on edge, and the look wasn’t that bad for Davis at the end there. “The ball touched every part of the rim; you can’t ask for a better look,” he stated to the press while he had himself another monster night of 30 points and 17 rebounds.

The Clippers have won every season series of the Lakers since 2012, and after last night the streak continues. There will be a statement concerning Carmelo Anthony and Lebron’s health soon, as the Lakers were one step behind again. These close game losses have been brutal for Laker Nation, and we can chalk this one up as another heartbreaker. Both teams played with intelligence and aggressiveness, but one final play proved lethal for the Lakers once again.


The Lakers will now host the New York Knicks on Saturday at Arena. The game tips off at 5:30 and can be seen on ABC.


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– Duncan Dye – Franchise Sports Media

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