LOS ANGELES – For the second time this season, the LA Clippers beat their neighbors, a diminished Los Angeles Lakers, after beating the reigning NBA champions with a clear 104-86 score, who are going through their darkest period of the campaign without its stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
“We didn’t do a good job together on offense. It was very different what we showed from the last game against Clippers, “said Kyle Kuzma, who contributed only six points in the second game against the Lakers neighbors, after scoring 30 in the first. “If we want to have a chance to win, we are going to have to play and trust the next teammate that comes up with. I don’t think it was the situation today (Sunday) ”.
On December 22, with complete teams, the Los Angeles quintets met on the opening day of the season and the Clippers won the game 116-109.
In addition to the losses of James and Davis, Andre Drummond, whom the Lakers added at the trade deadline to strengthen their roster, lost his second consecutive game with a right toe injury suffered last Wednesday in his debut with the Los Angeles painting.
Rajon Rondo, who won the championship with the Lakers last season, was traded to the Clippers last week from the Atlanta Hawks and due to a discomfort in the adductor, he was able to make his debut until this Sunday in the duel against his former team. Rondo played for 13 minutes with a basket, a rebound and three assists.
“Going back to play in Los Angeles was not that important. At the end of the day it’s basketball. Yes, I faced former teammates and friends, but it’s another season and I just want to adapt as quickly as possible, learn the game system and help the Clippers in their goals, “Rondo said after the game.
The Lakers came to the appointment with the Clippers after adding an important victory over the Sacramento Kings, which they described as the best game since the absence of and Davis. For the game against Clippers, the purple and gold players could not repeat their performance, particularly on offense.
“We have to play with balance and composure, like we did in Sacramento offensively. We showed good defensive elements to win, but we have to match that on offense, “said coach Frank Vogel about the game against the Clippers.
The Lakers scored 86 points with a 40.0 shooting percentage and just 30.4 percent shooting from long range. It is the lowest figure for the defending champions this season.
With the loss, the Lakers dropped to fifth place in the Western Conference.
“I don’t pay attention to our place in the standings,” Kuzma said. “We just have to do our job, not feel sorry and seek to win.”
Twins Markieff and Marcus Morris defend both jerseys and both started as starters with their respective teams. Marcus contributed 22 points to the Clippers’ victory in 28 minutes on the floor, while Markieff had just nine in the same time with the Lakers.
“It was special because it’s the first time we had to start a game at the same time as rivals and have to defend each other from the kickoff,” shared Marcus. “It is special for our family to enjoy Easter Sunday and see the two of us on the court, facing and defending two great franchises in the city of Los Angeles.”
For their part, the Clippers returned to the winning path after losing two to the Orlando Magic and the Denver Nuggets and remain in third place in the West, behind the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns.
Both teams will return to the court on Tuesday. The Clippers will remain in Los Angeles for the week and their first visit is the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers have a difficult five-game road trip, which begins against the Toronto Raptors.