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Sports Clippers rout Lakers 118-94, move into No. 3 spot in West

10:16  07 may  2021
10:16  07 may  2021 Source:   thecanadianpress.com

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LOS ANGELES -- — Paul George led seven players in double figures with 24 points and the Los Angeles Clippers routed a Lakers team minus LeBron James 118 - 94 on Thursday night, moving into the No . 3 spot in the Western Conference playoff race. The loss kept the defending NBA champion Lakers at No. 6. The Staples Center co-tenants could potentially face each other in the first round. The only thing they've clinched so far is a spot in the new play-in tournament, which James has derided.

The Clippers defeated the Lakers , 118 - 94 . Paul George recorded 24 points (8-12 FG), seven rebounds and five assists for the Clippers , while Kawhi Leonard added 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the victory. Kyle Kuzma tallied a game-high 25 points, along with five rebounds and four assists for the Lakers in the losing effort. Unlock NBA League Pass to watch: Game Recap: Clippers 118, Lakers 94.

LOS ANGELES — Paul George led seven players in double figures with 24 points and the Los Angeles Clippers routed a Lakers team minus LeBron James 118-94 on Thursday night, moving into the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference playoff race.

a group of men playing a game of football © Provided by The Canadian Press

The loss kept the defending NBA champion Lakers at No. 6. The Staples Center co-tenants could potentially face each other in the first round.

The Lakers have lost four of five, with six games remaining in the regular season. The only thing they've clinched so far is a spot in the new play-in tournament, which James has derided. Still dealing with a high ankle sprain, he will be out again Friday night for a pivotal game at Portland. That season series is tied at one.

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The Clippers (27-16) moved within four games of West -leading Utah, and while catching the Jazz — who own the season-series tiebreaker — seems unlikely, Phoenix and the Lakers are just 1½ games ahead. LaMelo Ball, the point guard from Chino Hills was unable to produce the kind of highlights that have Still, Saturday showcased the kind of step forward the Clippers might have within them, even while playing short-handed. Since being challenged by Lue after last Sunday’s sieve-like effort in New Orleans, the Clippers have strung together three consecutive performances in which their defense

The Clippers completed a season sweep over their crosstown rivals, steamrolling the Los Angeles Lakers , 118 - 94 , on Thursday at Staples Center. The top shooting 3-point team in the NBA, the Clippers put that skillset on display, making 11 of 19 (57.9 percent) from beyond the arc in the first half to put the game away early. With the victory, the Clippers swept the season series against the Lakers for the first time since the 2015-2016 season. The Clippers (45-22) moved past the Denver Nuggets (44-22) into the No . 3 spot in the Western Conference with the win.

“We don’t look at it as something bad,” Anthony Davis said of the play-in format. “We need games to get back accustomed to each other anyway. We don’t want to go that route, but if it happens, it happens.”

Davis was limited to four points on 2-of-9 shooting in nine minutes. He said he tweaked his ankle after stepping awkwardly on the scorer's table in the first. He fell, but got up and stayed in the game. He was later ruled out due to back spasms.

“I know it looked bad, but it's fine,” Davis said of his ankle, adding that his back locked up. He had it worked on and expects to play Friday in what he called the Lakers' biggest game left in the regular season.

“When we’re 100% healthy we are the top team in the league, so we keep that in our minds,” Davis said.

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LAKERS FIND THEIR DEFENSE After a rough couple of weeks in which the Lakers lost six of seven games, and their typical hard-nosed defense was mostly absent, they found their footing on that side of the floor to hold Denver to 89 points in a hard-fought 4-point victory. Anthony Davis had his best The Clippers , meanwhile, had everybody but Serge Ibaka on the court in their win against Toronto on Tuesday, which snapped a 3 -game losing streak in which Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Beverley both missed action. POTENTIAL PLAYOFF MATCHUP As things sit heading into Thursday nights’ game

Clippers rout Lakers 118 - 94 , move into No . 3 spot in West . Paul George led seven players in double figures with 24 points and the Los Angeles Clippers routed a Lakers team minus LeBron James 118 - 94 on Thursday night, moving into the No . 3 spot in the Western Conference playoff race. The loss kept the defending NBA champion Lakers at No. 6. The Lakers have lost four of five, with six games remaining in the regular season.

Kawhi Leonard had 15 points, eight rebounds and six asssists, and Ivica Zubac added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who have already clinched a playoff berth. They've won two straight after dropping three in a row, and are a half-game ahead of fourth-place Denver in the standings.

“Our intensity was great from jump,” George said. “We got to the paint, made extra plays and defensively we were locked into the game plan.”

Kyle Kuzma led the injury-plagued Lakers with 25 points.

Davis' latest setback comes after he already lost two months recovering from a calf injury.

“I don’t know if we got juju issues around here,” Kuzma said. “Every game is something different — injuries, mishaps. Can’t complain, can’t dwell, can’t have excuses.”

The Clippers shot 63% in the first half, when they led by 24 points. The Lakers' only lead came when Davis scored the game's first basket.

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Andre Drummond scored 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and made three steals as the Cleveland Cavaliers won their third straight game to start the season, 118 - 94 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Collin Sexton added 22 points and Darius Garland had 14 points and seven assists for Cleveland, which finished with the second-worst record in the NBA last season at 19-46. The Cavaliers are 3 -0 for the first time since winning six in a row to begin 2016-2017.

The Clippers have already clinched a playoff spot . The Raptors are jockeying for a spot in the play-in tournament with six games remaining. Los Angeles led 88-84 early in the fourth when the Raptors ran off 10 in a row to go ahead 94 -88. Jalen Harris and VanVleet sandwiched 3 -pointers around baskets by Birch. The teams traded leads, with Jackson's jumper tying it at 99-all. George's 3 -pointer put the Clippers in front for good after they rallied from six points down early in the fourth.

“We’re hanging in there,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “No one is feeling sorry for themselves. We know we've got to be better even under adverse circumstances.”

The Lakers got within four early in the second quarter, but the Clippers responded by scoring 11 straight to restore a double-digit lead that stretched to 65-42 at halftime. DeMarcus Cousins had nine of his 11 points in the second, hitting a 3-pointer and getting a steal and dunk as part of an 8-0 spurt.

The Lakers outscored the Clippers 29-27 in the third, but couldn't make a serious dent in the deficit. Kuzma's 3-pointer drew them within 17 early in the period, when Andre Drummond picked up his fourth and fifth fouls.

Kuzma played part of fourth with the Lakers' second unit, which scored all of the team's 23 points in the period.

The Clippers were better on the boards (47-34) and at the free throw line, making 23 of 26. The Lakers hit 18 of 29.

TIP-INS

Lakers: Alex Caruso had eight points and seven assists in his second start of the season at guard. ... Talen Horton-Tucker (right calf strain) sat out and will be out Friday, too. ... Also missing the game was Dennis Schröder (health and safety protocols). ... It's possible Jared Dudley, out since March 15 with a right MCL tear, could still play this season. He has returned to the court.

'We can't worry': At No. 7 in West, Lakers may face play-in

  'We can't worry': At No. 7 in West, Lakers may face play-in The Los Angeles Lakers won’t have home-court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. They need help if they’re going to escape the play-in tournament. Worse yet, their invitation to the post-season isn’t even guaranteed. The defending NBA champions might be in trouble. It’s very simple for the Lakers: They win most of their games when LeBron James plays and lose most of their games when he doesn't. With him sidelined forThe defending NBA champions might be in trouble.

Clippers: Swept the season series, winning by seven, 18 and 24 points. ... Made just two 3-pointers in the second half. ... Amir Coffey remained out due to health and safety protocols.

WHERE'S LBJ?

James hasn't been on the Lakers' bench the last two games. He won't travel with the team to Portland, either. Vogel said there isn't a medical reason why James isn't present.

“He's just not here,” the coach said.

SLOPPY PLAY

The Clippers committed 22 turnovers, with five each by George and Leonard. Coach Tyronn Lue wasn't happy his team gave up 30 points on miscues, calling it “just messing around too much.”

“We’ll be all right,” Leonard said. “Two of my turnovers were offensive fouls. That’s just being aggressive, physical. We can live with that.”

UP NEXT

Lakers: Visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday in the second game of a back-to-back.

Clippers: Host the New York Knicks on Sunday.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Beth Harris, The Associated Press

Opinion: Can LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers continue to thrive through adversity in postseason? .
The Lakers got the challenge they expected from the Warriors in the play-in, leaving them hopeful they can overcome any problems in the playoffs.The Los Angeles Lakers star had just fallen awkwardly after driving to the basket while Golden State Warriors defender Draymond Green defended him. The officials determined that Green did not commit a flagrant foul. He was simply just trying to defend in his intense nature. Still, Green inadvertently poked James in the eye, forcing him down for the count.

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