Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs. Clippers – Game 66


The shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers were unable to build off their impressive win against the Denver Nuggets and were thoroughly beat down by the L.A. Clippers on Thursday night, losing 118-94.


Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP

The Lakers defense was able to cause a few turnovers to start, but the Clippers outside shooting allowed them to take an early 10-4 lead. Kyle Kuzma was able to get his jumper to fall and score five quick points, but defensively they struggled to get stops.

Alex Caruso knocked down a 3-pointer in transition, but the Clippers’ outside shooting allowed them to stay ahead by double digits. Kuzma hit two more jumpers toward the end of the quarter, but the Lakers found themselves trailing 29-20.

The Lakers were able to briefly get the deficit down to four, but once again, the Clippers could not miss from downtown and immediately went back up by 42-29. DeMarcus Cousins was a problem off the bench for the Purple and Gold as he scored both inside and out, while another Paul George 3-pointer pushed the deficit to 20.


Even though they played hard on the defensive end, blown rotations led to several open looks that the Clippers capitalized on. Kuzma took the responsibility of shouldering the offensive load, but the Lakers went into the half down 65-42.


Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: The Athletic

Davis did not appear in the second quarter as he was getting checked back in the locker room for what appeared right ankle sprain. It turns out he was actually dealing with back spasms, though, and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Wesley Matthews started the second half in place of Davis and drained a three while Kuzma added one of his own to force a Clippers timeout. However, they then endured a scoring drought and went back down 20 points.

Andre Drummond tried to get himself going by forcing his way to the rim, albeit coming up with mixed results. The Lakers had nothing going for them on either end and limped into the fourth, trailing 92-71.

Montrezl Harrell tried to inject some life back into the Lakers with his rebounding effort, but the team struggled immensely to find any rhythm offensively. Head coach Frank Vogel seemingly waved the white flag by not re-inserting the starters, and the Lakers would take home another disappointing loss, albeit an expected one considering they were missing so many key pieces.


Lakers News and Notes:


Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: Native News Post

The Los Angeles Lakers have been hit hard by injuries in the last three months, disrupting their title pursuit during the tumultuous 2020-21 season.

L.A.’s two biggest stars suffered the most severe injuries. Anthony Davis missed 30 games with an Achilles problem before making his return at the end of April, and LeBron James joined the All-Star forward on the sidelines in mid-March with a high ankle sprain.

The four-time NBA champion came back on April 30 for a clash against the Sacramento Kings but two days later came off the floor early in the loss to the Toronto Raptors, appearing to still be feeling soreness from his injury. With L.A. already playing without Dennis Schroder, ruled out due to health and safety protocols, James sat out the 93-89 victory over the Denver Nuggets and could miss further games due to discomfort in his ankle.

Davis said the latest blow was disappointing but added the Lakers were prepared to play without the 36-year-old All-Star again after the rough past months. “It was nothing out of the ordinary for us,” he said.

“It’s been all season for us whether it’s health and safety protocols or someone is injured. It’s kind of been what has been happening to us all year. We had the mindset of, and I had the mindset of next guy, next man up. No matter who is on the floor, the five that’s on the floor we got to compete and that’s all we did tonight was compete.”

With Kyle Kuzma joining the other Lakers role player, Alex Caruso, in the starting lineup, L.A. managed to surprise the Nuggets and chalk up the team’s second with in the last eight games. Davis praised his teammates for stepping up in another tough stretch for the defending NBA champions. “Wes [Matthews] hadn’t played in a while and was able to come in and play huge for us,” he said.

“Two big threes and key plays defensively. Marc [Gasol], same thing. There’s always a next man up, and we were able to do that tonight. Obviously, it sucks not having our two points guards, but AC came in that role and played huge for us, so we got to hold the fort down until we get those guys back.”


The Lakers are right back at it tonight against the Trail Blazers in Portland. The tip-off is at 7:00 pm and the game can be seen on ESPN & Spectrum SportsNet.

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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

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