Both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers played a minimal amount of defense Wednesday night, allowing each other to put up absolutely gaudy stat lines. Of the 10 starters on the two teams, only Metta World Peace failed to score in double figures. Andrew Bynum led all scorers with 36 points while Chris Paul posted a double-double, but Kobe Bryant stole the show in the Lakers' 113-108 win.
At one point, the Lakers led by 15 in the second half, but the Clippers cut the lead to 11 going into the fourth quarter. They continued to cut into the lead in the fourth and eventually took their first lead of the game with 3:30 remaining, when DeAndre Jordan scored to make it 104-103 in favor of the Clippers. It would be nearly three minutes before the Clippers made another field goal.
On the Lakers' next possession, Bryant made a tough contested jumper to restore his team's lead. On the next trip down the floor for the Clippers, World Peace was matched up one-on-one with Paul on the perimeter and made an impressive steal, which led to Bynum eventually being fouled and making one of two free throws. The Clippers committed a turnover on their next possession, which was followed by an impressive driving layup by Ramon Sessions to extend the Lakers' lead to four points.
Chris Paul answered with a basket of his own just five seconds later, but he would be upstaged. Bryant restored the Lakers' lead to four points with 24 seconds remaining, hitting a fantastic contested jumper that was effectively the dagger in the Clippers' comeback hopes.
The Lakers are now 2-1 against the Clippers this season and lead them by 2 1/2 games for third place in the Western Conference playoff race.