In a pivotal matchup against their cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers secured a 127-116 victory over the Lakers as Kawhi Leonard delivered his second career triple-double. James Harden’s impressive performance, along with strong team contributions, propelled the Clippers to their first win in three meetings this season.
Facing a crucial seven-game road trip, the Clippers maintained their momentum by overcoming the Lakers, winning three consecutive games and 11 of the last 13. Kawhi Leonard’s stellar performance included 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, marking his second career triple-double.
“Everybody contributed to the win,” Leonard emphasized. “That’s what we got to do, knock down shots when they’re open and tonight we did.”
D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers with 27 points and 10 assists, while Anthony Davis contributed 26 points and 12 rebounds. However, with LeBron James sidelined due to left ankle pain, the Lakers struggled to secure a victory.
In a closely contested fourth quarter, the Lakers twice closed within two points. However, Leonard’s crucial plays, including finding Norman Powell for a 3-pointer and connecting with Paul George for a layup, spearheaded a 9-0 run that widened the Clippers’ lead to 119-108. Powell finished with 17 points, contributing to the Clippers’ victory.
Injuries and Challenges:
The absence of LeBron James and big man Ivica Zubac posed challenges for both teams. James is day-to-day with left ankle pain, while Zubac is out for at least a month with a right calf strain. Despite these setbacks, the Clippers showcased resilience and depth to secure the win.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham acknowledged the positive aspects of the game, despite the loss, stating, “Like I told them just now, a lot of good things we did during this game.”
Reflecting on LeBron James’ absence, Kawhi Leonard recognized the Lakers’ efforts, saying, “You saw guys came in and stepped up and made big shots for him.”
The Lakers will host the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, aiming to bounce back from their fourth consecutive road loss. Meanwhile, the Clippers will embark on a seven-game trip, starting with a visit to the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
Kawhi Leonard’s triple-double and James Harden’s impactful performance propelled the Clippers to a significant victory over the Lakers. As both teams face challenges and injuries, the Clippers’ depth and cohesion have positioned them well for success as they embark on a demanding road trip.
Q1: How many triple-doubles has Kawhi Leonard recorded in his career?
A1: Kawhi Leonard has recorded his second career triple-double in the game against the Lakers.
Q2: What is the Lakers’ current record after this loss?
A2: The Lakers fall under .500 with a 22-23 record after the loss to the Clippers.
Q3: When is the next game for the Clippers?
A3: The Clippers will visit the Toronto Raptors on Friday to begin a seven-game road trip.