The Los Angeles Clippers swept the Los Angeles Lakers in their season series while also clinching the Pacific Division title, final score 109-95. Chris Paul scored 24 points while dishing out 12 assists as his Clippers dominated the Lakers. The Lakers have once again fallen out of the playoffs, dropping to ninth overall in the Western Conference.
Kobe Bryant had a double-double but struggled from the field. He ended the night with 25 points on 6-of-19 shooting while also putting in 10 assists. Bryant began the game in facilitator mode, but slowed down his passing game in the second half, opting to take more field goals for the Lakers. He played 47:20 of the game, only sitting once the game was clearly out of reach.
The shaky-at-best Lakers defense struggled dealing with the Clippers. Often even while stopping the Clippers from scoring on a possession, it turned into an offensive rebound for the Clippers. While the Clippers did shoot 50 percent from the field, they also grabbed 16 offensive rebounds total on the night.
Lamar Odom, DeAndre Jordan, and Blake Griffin handled the rebounding work for the Clippers. Griffin ended the night with a double-double, scoring 24 points while also pulling down 12 rebounds (four offensive). DeAndre Jordan had 13 rebounds of his own (four offensive). Off the bench, Odom had five rebounds. Overall, the Clippers outrebounded the Lakers, 50-36, a giant gap for any team to overcome.
Dwight Howard didn't help the Lakers' rebounding cause as he only grabbed four boards. While he did score 25 points, his inability to take care of the glass was a critical blunder throughout the game. For a team like the Lakers who struggle on the defensive end, they can't defend extra possessions after getting stops.
Jamal Crawford was brilliant off the bench for the Clippers, scoring 20 points and taking advantage of a Lakers team that lacks perimeter defenders. Matt Barnes was also a key contributor for the Clippers, making five of his six field goal attempts for 12 points while also doing a great job of hounding Bryant throughout the night.