Staples Center will host both Los Angeles’ teams tonight. The visiting LA Clippers head into this match-up with the Lakers on a back-to-back. Can Clippers prevail the battle for Los Angeles?
The LA Clippers will be playing for their second straight night, as well as their fifth game in six days. Usually fatigue is included, and although the Clippers are the visiting team tonight, no travel was necessary. This is hardly an “away” game because without a doubt, the venue will be full of Clippers’ jerseys.
Blake Griffin and company earned their second win in a row leading all scorers with 30 points and six rebounds. Griffin was shooting very efficient last night going 12-19 from the field (63%) and 3-4 from deep! At one point Los Angeles was up by 23 points in the middle of the 3rd, cruising to victory.
Blake recently indicated,
“I’d like to see us execute like this in a little bit more stressful environment. It’s always nice to have a game where most everybody is under 30 minutes. We get to rest in the fourth quarter and get ready for the Lakers.”
Even though Clippers have won the last 12 of 13 games against the Lakers, they wont take this game lightly. Therefore, the Clippers will be in good shape heading into this one. Their single loss was in the most recent meeting. The Clippers were short-handed without both Paul and Griffin.
The Lakers, otherwise, have not had an easy time, dropping five in a row and nine of their last ten. They are heading in opposite directions from the Clippers, as the Lakers look forward to another lottery pick.
However, the Lakers have a bit of a spark igniting, ever since the recent scuffle between the Milwaukee Bucks. After a hard foul on Lakers guard, Nick Young, he proceeded to shove back. Then, Bucks big-man Greg Monroe jumps in with another hard push, as both benches come flooding in. This resulted in the ejections of Young and teammate D’Angelo Russel. Head coach Luke Walton obviously has them fired up!
They lost that close physical match with the Bucks 107-103. After, they played the defending champion Cavaliers extremely tough with something to prove. Surprisingly, LA was up big in the half, and even up by double digits entering the fourth quarter. However, they lost yet another close battle 125-120 as the Cavs’ big three caught fire to end the game.
Do not expect tonight’s game to be like the other blowouts between both Los Angeles ball clubs. This can be yet another close game for the Lakers who have to be playing with momentum.
This is a bigger game for the Clippers however, who are within one game behind the Utah Jazz for the fourth seed in the West. Utah lost last night visiting the Pacers, setting up a very important game this Saturday between the potential first round match-up.
If the Clippers are going to close this season with a higher seed, they need to win games like tonight’s. No doubt it is always fun in Los Angeles when these rival teams meet. We should be in for a good battle for Los Angeles tonight.