NBA News Wire
Clippers 118, Lakers 111
LOS ANGELES — Forward Blake Griffin scored 39 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers held on for a 118-111 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center.
Guard Jamal Crawford added 22 points as the Clippers (2-0) captured their fourth straight win over the Lakers (0-3).
Center Jordan Hill scored 23 points, while guard Kobe Bryant had 21 to lead the Lakers.
Crawford tied the score by hitting three foul shots after being fouled on a 3-point attempt by forward Wesley Johnson with 4:22 left. Crawford added another free throw for a 107-106 advantage with four minutes left.
A reverse dunk by Griffin boosted the Clippers to a three-point lead, but guard Wayne Ellington’s 3-pointer tied the score again at 109.
Crawford’s trey gave the Clippers a 112-109 lead before Bryant’s jumper cut the deficit to one. Bryant, however, missed a shot with 26 seconds left that would have given the Lakers the lead.
Griffin’s two free throws with 21.3 seconds remaining lifted the Clippers to a 114-111 lead. Bryant misfired on a 3-pointer before J.J. Redick, who scored 15 points, canned a pair of free throws with 15.1 seconds left to seal it for the Clippers.
The Clippers skated out to a 15-point lead in the first half, but the Lakers rallied. They pulled to within three points on several occasions late in the second quarter before the Clippers grabbed a 62-56 lead at the half.
Bryant finished the half with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting, which included a reverse dunk in the first quarter on Clippers forward and former Laker Matt Barnes.
Griffin scored 18 points in the half, hitting eight-of-13 field goals.
The Lakers opened the third quarter on a 16-5 spurt and took a 74-67 lead after Hill hit consecutive jumpers. Hill scored 13 points in the quarter, helping the Lakers take a 90-86 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Both coaches were asked about a possible rivalry between the two clubs and both had different responses. Lakers coach Bryon Scott dismissed it, saying the Clippers need to win several NBA titles before being mentioned in the same conversation with the 16-time world champions. Clippers coach Doc Rivers downplayed the issue, but said the two clubs are natural competitors since they play in Los Angeles. … Rivers on the play this season of Kobe Bryant: “He’s a killer. That’s how he plays. Kobe’s Kobe.” … The Clippers will host the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. … The Lakers visit the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
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