The LA Clippers once again beat a depressed Los Angeles Lakers by beating them 118-94 to sweep the three-game regular season series with their neighbors in a duel in which Anthony Davis scared the gold and silver. purple.
Davis, who was in his eighth game after being out of action for nine weeks with a calf strain and Achilles tendinosis in his right leg, left the game at halftime after experiencing back spasms, however. , the Lakers star hopes to play on Friday.
“We must be better, even in adverse circumstances. Losing Anthony Davis so quickly in the game obviously changed the strategy that we had worked on, we did not adjust well enough after that, “lamented Frank Vogel, coach of the Lakers. “Nobody feels sorry for us, we don’t feel sorry for ourselves. We must be better at competing in difficult times. “
The Lakers played without their point guards without having LeBron James, who suffered a relapse from an ankle injury, Dennis Schroder by NBA health protocols and Talen Horton-Tucker by a Grade 1 calf strain. To that was added the departure of Davis, who only participated in the court for nine minutes against the Clippers.
At first, Davis’ injury appeared to be a sprained ankle after tripping on the scoring table, but the team later indicated it was back spasms.
“From the beginning of the game, I said that the officials’ table was very close to the court,” Davis said. “My ankle is fine, I twisted it a bit, but it looked more bulky than it was. When I came out, it was my back that tensed very quickly after the first few minutes of the game. “
Davis hopes to play this Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers after claiming to feel better after receiving treatment, but will be reevaluated, as Vogel does not want to take any risks prior to the postseason.
Contrary to the Lakers, the Clippers have gotten their players back at the right time and are almost complete, except for Serge Ibaka.
Those led by Tyronn Lue dominated the duel against their neighbors from the start and seven players finished in double digits, including the entire starting five: Kawhi Leonard (15), Paul George (24), Marcus Morris (10), Ivica Zubac (14 ), Reggie Jackson (10); Rajon Rondo (11) and DeMarcus Cousins (11).
“I am proud of how strong we have been throughout the season. We stuck together during difficult times. That has been the most important thing for this group ”, Lue stressed after the meeting. “We have been through difficult defeats like the 50-point defeat against Dallas or a great victory against Phoenix.
“Now, the most important thing is to find the rhythm for what is coming, to be more consistent. The first half I liked, we did good things, but in the second we did not close well, “he added.
Lue pointed to his team’s turnovers as one of the failures in the victory. The Clippers suffered 22, of which the Lakers had 30 points.
“Two of the turnovers I had were offensive fouls, that speaks to physical play,” explained Leonard, who suffered five losses of possession. “Yes there was one in the last quarter in which I already neglected with the advantage. I must do a better job of not lowering the intensity. In the end, they are the defending champions, for something they are doing something well on the defensive side, we just have to keep working on those details. “
The Clippers shot 53.2 percent from the field while the Lakers shot just 37.9 percent, their lowest total this season.
The Clippers already have their ticket to the Playoffs and are in third place in the Western Conference. For their part, the Lakers are in sixth position and seek to avoid qualifying via the playoffs if they go down from that sixth place.
“It is not ideal, but in the end, if we have to qualify via the ‘play-in’, it is not the end of the world either. On the bright side, we need to have more games together to get back on track, ”Davis reiterated.
The Clippers will meet the New York Knicks on Sunday.