Kobe Bryant had a game-high 40 points on 14 of 23 shooting to lead all scorers as the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Los Angeles Clippers, 105-95 in the much-anticipated first game of the Battle for Los Angeles at Staples Center on Friday night.
The story of the game was turnovers, and the Clippers scored 25 points off the Lakers' 20 giveaways. The Lakers also had no answer for the Clippers' athleticism as was evidenced by the disparity in fast break points, where the Clippers outscored the Lakers 21-10.
For the Clippers, Chris Paul filled the stat sheet, posting 18 points, 15 assists, six rebounds and three steals on the evening. Jamal Crawford continued to give the Clippers a huge lift off the bench with 21 points on 5 of 12 shooting. He was also perfect at the free-throw line, going 9 for 9.
Dwight Howard got into early foul trouble for the Lakers and could not stay on the floor long enough to prevent the Clippers from scoring 20 second-chance points. He finished with 13 points and eight rebounds on the evening.
The Lakers fell to 0-3 in a disappointing start to the 2012-2013 season, and the Clippers improved to 2-0 with the win.