Blake Griffin has a monster game as the Lakers are blown out of the water.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ season has gone into a tail-spin after being thumped by their cross-town rivals the Clippers 123-87, in what was the side’s biggest ever win over their former ‘big brother’.
After dropping the first game of the season, when they opened against the Lakers at the Staples Centre, payback was sweet for the Clippers and Blake Griffin, who posted the impressive stat line of 33 points and 12 rebounds to spark the massive win.
Darren Collison had 20 points and seven assists, J.J. Redick added 19 points in his return, and DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the Clippers’ third straight win and fifth in six games. They improved to 17-3 at home, second-best in the NBA.
“We got after it, especially on the defensive end,” Collison said. “That helped us on the break.”
“Everybody knows the Lakers are going to come back strong, that’s still a good team to me.”
The Lakers were their own worst enemy for much of the game, committing 21 turnovers and shooting just 34 per cent from the floor, leading to the record 37-point loss.
Mike D’Antoni’s team has been hit hard by injuries, the biggest name of course is Kobe Bryant, however, the Clippers were also without their best player in Chris Paul, as he continues to sit out due to a separated shoulder.
Griffin said it was up to the entire team to take up the slack left by Paul’s massive absence left in the starting rotation.
“None of us can replace CP,” Griffin said. “We need it from everybody. It’s almost a mental thing, being more locked in.”
The Clippers began the game with a bang, shooting 71 per cent and putting up a massive 43 points in the opener to start the game with a commanding lead, thanks in part to runs of 10-0 and 14-0.
LA’s bench took to the court in most of the second quarter as they continued to run up the lead to 70-52 as the team’s went into half-time.
And then it got ugly for the Lakers.
The Lakers missed 18 of 20 shots in the third, when they scored just eight points and trailed 101-60 as Bryant looked on from the bench, his head propped in his left hand.
Pau Gasol said the Lakers have lost their aura and team’s think they are going to have an easy night against them even before tip-off.
“Right now, it seems like teams are playing with too much confidence,” Gasol said. “They’re taking for granted that the Lakers are just an easy game, that they’re going to come out and are just going to score 120-130 points, everybody’s going to get their points, and it’s going to be a wonderful night. We’ve just got to cut that out somehow.”