GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Clippers 31 33 37 24 125
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 27 35 28 21 101




Clippers rout Lakers 125-101, clinch season series

By GREG BEACHAM


Posted Feb 15 2013 1:26AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Chris Paul had 24 points and 13 assists, Blake Griffin scored 18 of his 22 points in a spectacular first quarter, and the Clippers cemented their supremacy in Los Angeles with a 125-101 victory over the Lakers on Thursday night.

Chauncey Billups hit five 3-pointers while scoring 21 points for the Clippers, who never trailed as they roared into the All-Star break by clinching the season series in their city rivalry for the first time in 20 years.

The Clippers have won the Staples Center co-tenants' first three games of the year, with Los Angeles' longtime underdogs burying the 16-time champions in this latest meeting under a wave of 16 3-pointers.

Kobe Bryant had 20 points and 11 assists for the Lakers, who head to the break in 10th place in the Western Conference.

Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited





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Points Paul (LAC), 24
Rebounds Jordan (LAC), 12
Assists Paul (LAC), 13
Steals Billups (LAC), 4


POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike D'Antoni:

On tonight's performance:
“First of all, they beat us. Our start obviously was bad, missed a lot of shots. Give them credit, they were shooting the ball very well and I think in the 2nd quarter about 3 minutes to go, we had it to 3 points and we just let it get away. Some turnovers, they hit 3s, it just put us in a hole again after fighting back so probably the biggest thing, we didn’t run back…we just forced some things and just we were out of sync and they played really well”

On the consistency through stretches of games:
“Sometimes there’s just not a great equilibrium out there. It’s all one thing or all of nothing and then we get in desperation mode. Some guys miss some shots and they get a little desperate and we have four guys crashing the offensive rebounds and they’re running out on us. We stress we got to get back…and I think out of desperation, we just sometimes don’t play real smart and it bit us tonight for sure. And again, with Chauncey [Billups] the way he was and Chris Paul controlling the game, they were good. So it’s a lot of them and not much of us.”

On making the playoffs:
“Yeah, I mean we could have gotten beat one at the buzzer but we got some work to do, no doubt about it. We got about 27, 3 games out so yeah, we can do it but we have to play better than we did tonight”

“You just keep going forward, there’s no secret. Everybody knows what’s at stake and again, we’ll be in the home stretch and we’ll have to play very hard. We have head to head match ups with guys we’re trying to catch so, yeah we can do it. But we have to play better, I mean that’s the whole thing, we got to solve our problems and tonight was not good. Bright spots: Jodie Meeks, Antawn [Jamison], and Steve Blake’s been playing really well. Our bench has been playing really well, so we just got to work some things out and come back on Wednesday and get the one against Boston.”




Metta World Peace:

On the Lakers defensive effort tonight:
“The defense was fine. The defense was there I think. For those who don’t really know the game if you’re not really in an offensive sync and you don’t have offensive balance that leads to fast breaks so sometimes it can be deceiving and you might think the defense wasn’t there but it’s a little bit more than that, it’s more that the offense wasn’t really in sync.”

On the defense giving up 16 threes to the Clippers:
“The game it’s not as complicated as it seems, but you know it’s other things that could have limited their threes, especially on the offensive end. We didn’t put a lot of pressure on them as a whole.”




Steve Nash:

On the Lakers defensive effort tonight:
“The defense wasn’t great, they were hot. I also feel like the offense really hurt our defense. We were stagnant. We turned it over. We also took some long jump shots or contested shots that really fueled their break. I thought they got some threes and dunks in transition coupled with, not only from turnovers but also from offensive stagnation.”

On if it was more poor defense by the Lakers or great shooting by the Clippers with regards to the Clippers’ 16 three pointers:
“I think a bit of both for sure. The truth is always somewhere in the middle, but again I think our offense hurt our defense. They got a lot of threes in transition too. Whether it was either a long contested jump shot early or a turnover, you know that we can’t defend. They run out and we try to take away Blake’s [Griffin] lob and someone’s standing there for an open three, so I thought our offense hurt our defense tonight.”

On if this loss was a step backward for the team:
“Well it’s a loss. A loss isn’t going to knock us out of the playoffs, and a win isn’t going to put us in. Obviously we got blown out tonight. Maybe it’s the right time if we’re going to have to take a big ‘L’ like that and we can regroup and start fresh after the break but we’re not going to hang our heads and we’re not going to give up we’re going to keep fighting.”




Dwight Howard:

On the Lakers getting off to a slow start:
“We turned the ball over. They hit shots. When they come out they have great first quarters they tend to win the game and we knew that coming in and we didn’t capitalize on it and they just came out on fire.”

On if the Lakers expended too much energy early:
“No. We did a good job for a stretch, but then we stopped playing the way we played to get back in the game and we can’t do that.”

On the Lakers defense:
“Well they shot like 50 some percent from the three-point-line. That’s a lot of threes. That’s a lot of makes. We got to do a better job of closing out to their shooters and they played amazing tonight. They were good, they were real good.”

On the game:
“It’s over with now. We’ll get a couple days of rest and come back and have a good second half.”

On what he expects to do in Houston for All-Star Weekend:
“It’s another weekend for the fans. We get an opportunity to hang out and chill with the fans and have a good time. So hopefully we can just for a couple days get away from everything and just have fun.”




Kobe Bryant:

On the team’s defense tonight:
“It was non-existent. They made a lot of shots, and they really broke the game open by getting out in transition. Their bigs did a great job of running the floor and collapsing on defense, and their guards trailed and knocked down some big shots.”

On if the Clippers three point proficiency was due to bad defense or the Clippers just getting hot:
“It’s a little bit of both, but you have to tip your hat to them. You know, last night as well they just shot the ball really well.”

On how big of a step backward tonight’s loss is:
“It’s a step back. We just have to regroup, guys have to do what they need to do over the break to stay in shape and keep their rhythm going or get healthy or whatever, and come back ready to roll.”




Vinny Del Negro:

On if tonight was a statement game:
“It was just a game. I thought Blake [Griffin] got us off to a great start. Chauncey [Billups] was shooting really well and that gives us another whole dimension, which you can see. Chris [Paul] was Chris. It was just a whole team effort. I thought everybody came in and battled. We shot the ball really well tonight especially from deep which opened things up. We got off to a really good start. In the second quarter, early on with our bench wasn’t very productive but I thought that our starters got us a nice lead at halftime. We controlled the tempo in the third for most of the second half.”

On shooting from behind the three-point line:
“Chauncey tonight kind of set the tone. Chris made some. Caron [Butler] made some. We just have to spread the wealth a little bit. Matt [Barnes] hit a big one before halftime, so like I said we win and lose as a team. Tonight was a great team effort. Chris and Blake set the tone for us and obviously Chauncey in limited minutes did a great job for us.”

On team effort where it should be before All-Star Weekend:
“Yeah, I just thought we’ve had a tough schedule. We had a long road trip, came back last night and played a tough Houston team and then obviously tonight is always a tough game so I thought we responded well, we shot it well which took some pressure off of us but we got some good production from a lot of guys.”

On making starts like tonight a habit:
“Of course we want to get off to a good start but it doesn’t always happen. We just have to learn to handle the ups and downs of a game, stay together and work the rotations. They went small a little bit so DJ [DeAndre Jordan] and some of our bigs didn’t play quite as much and I thought we were effective with that. Then when we had to go big I thought we were effective there as well. Our ball movement was good and we shot the three really well which opens up a lot for us.”




Chris Paul:

On the game:
“Our defense leading our offence. Obviously like I tell you all, with me and Chauncey out there it is so much fun because we both pride ourselves on making shots and shooting the ball. We know how to make the right play. When Chauncey is out there I don’t just have to create, he creates. And it is fun basketball.”

“We have been shooting a little bit and when you have the right people shooting it. Chauncey is a dead eye shooter.”

“At the end of the day, we came out of one of those timeouts, I think it was 10 nothing and I turned to Blake Griffin and was like ‘It is a game of runs.’”

On their record:
“For us it was four games in five nights against four playoff teams. Good teams. We played against four good teams in five nights. We won all of them. That is tough. We won at New York, at Philly, here against Houston, and at LA.”




Blake Griffin:

On the game:
“Our defense. The way we defended. We stuck to the game plan and I thought Matt and Caron did an unbelievable job. Even Chauncey defending Kobe, we still got pints, we still got to the foul line. But, we wanted to limit them and that was important.”

“It is great to get off to a good start, but the best part about it was our defense. The way we defended.”

“We got a jump kind of early and then let them back in the game, but the way we finished was big.”

On Chauncey Billups:
“He is playing unbelievable. He is one of those guys who seems like no matter how much time he misses he comes back and he hasn’t missed a beat. He has been great for us.”




Chauncey Billups:

On the game:
“We are really shooting the ball well right now as a group. We are playing really well, but unfortunately, you are not going to shoot like that every night and we have to find ways defensively to be a little better through stretches. But, tonight was a great night for us, for everybody.”






CLIPPERS-LAKERS PREVIEW

By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO


Posted Feb 14 2013 2:42AM

Comfortably atop the Pacific Division, the Los Angeles Clippers can claim some rare bragging rights entering the All-Star break.

If the Los Angeles Lakers are going to keep that from happening, they'll likely need Kobe Bryant to bounce back from one of the worst performances of his career.

The Clippers attempt to take the season series from the Lakers for the first time in 20 years on Thursday night.

The Clippers (38-17) are bidding for their first division title, and hold a hefty 6 1/2-game lead on second-place Golden State.

The Lakers (25-28) have won five straight Pacific Division titles, but that run may be nearing an end since they're 12 games back of their Staples Center co-tenants.

So far, the two head-to-head matchups have also gone the Clippers' way, including a 107-102 win in the most recent meeting Jan. 4.

A victory Thursday would give the Clippers the season series for the first time since taking three of five during 1992-93.

They're entering this meeting with some momentum, winning three in a row and four of five after cruising to a 106-96 win over Houston on Wednesday. The Clippers held a 46-28 edge after the opening quarter, hitting 17 of 22 shots - 6 of 8 from beyond the arc.

The Clippers, though, felt they could have played better after letting the Rockets hang around the final big three quarters.

"We played great and got a little complacent with the lead," Chauncey Billups said. "We've shown to lose our discipline sometimes."

Despite being one of the biggest disappointments of the season, the Lakers have put together their own strong stretch, winning eight of 11 after dropping 10 of 12.

Bryant's 27.0 points per game is fourth in the NBA, but the Lakers' recent success has come with him averaging 18.3.

He had merely four points on 1 for 8 shooting with eight turnovers Tuesday, but the Lakers overcame that to beat Phoenix 91-85.

"I thought it was great, actually," Bryant said. "Obviously, scoring four points, going 1 for 8, that's not necessarily a recipe for success. ... But it's not about us as individuals. It's about what we can do to help the team."

He seems to have found a way, averaging 8.3 assists over the past 11 games, nearly double his 4.7 mark this season.

"I've been doing that since January, when I was trying to make the right play, keep everybody involved, and then I try to get going a little bit," Bryant said after dishing out nine assists while battling double-teams Tuesday.

A meeting with the Clippers could help Bryant find his stroke. He's averaging 35.3 points on 55.6 percent from the floor over the past six meetings, and he's totaled 78 points in this season's two losses.

Dwight Howard managed 21 points and 15 rebounds with two blocks against the Clippers last month. He came up big again Tuesday, totaling 19 points and 18 rebounds versus the Suns.

That was a dramatic improvement after Howard averaged 11.1 points and 9.0 rebounds over his previous 11 games while struggling with a shoulder injury.

Howard will vie for low-post supremacy with Blake Griffin, who is averaging 19.0 points and 10.7 boards over three games.

Griffin has 20.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in nine career meetings with the Lakers, scoring 24 on 9 for 16 shooting from the floor in last month's win.

Chris Paul had 30 points 13 assists in that matchup after posting 18 and 15 with three steals in a 105-95 win on Nov. 2, when the Clippers were considered the visitors.

Paul and Griffin will be teammates with Bryant and Howard on Sunday, when they will all start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star game in Houston.


Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
Probable Starters .
  Lakers    
  #15 World Peace SF #22 Barnes  
  #6 ClarkPF #32 Griffin  
  #12 Howard C #6 Jordan  
  #24 Bryant SG #34 Green  
  #10 Nash PG #3 Paul  




Lakers Pau Gasol
(strained plantar fascia, right foot) is out
Jordan Hill
(torn labrum, left hip/herniated disc) is out.
Dwight Howard
(torn labrum, right shoulder) is probable.

Clippers Caron Butler
(sore lower back) is a game-time decision.
Chauncey Billups
(sore lower back) is a game-time decision.
Trey Thompkins
(left knee bone bruise) is out.


11/02 - LAC 105 @ LAL 95
01/04 - LAL 102 @ LAC 107
02/14 - LAC @ LAL
04/07 - LAL @ LAC