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Inspired Lakers Close Out Clippers

Remember that scene in Bad Boys where Martin Lawrence whips Will Smith’s Porsche like Mario Andretti? After riding Lawrence’s character for driving like a tourist on Hollywood Boulevard for most of the flick, Smith screams with adulation “from now on that’s how you drive!” as Lawrence pilots the heroic duo to a climatic defeat of the villain.

Well, there were no explosions inside Staples that normally accompany any Michael Bay film but there were some serious fireworks in the form of intensity. After seeing the Lake Show battle until the last second of the game, going toe-to-toe with the rival Clippers and coming out victorious in a hard fought 96-91 clash all I’ve got to say to Mike Brown’s team is, “from now on that’s how you play ball!”

Pau Gasol set the tone early. Perhaps he’s been stopping by LSL as recently I’ve been begging for the Spaniard to get more aggressive. Tonight Gasol played with a Spud Webb sized chip on his shoulder. He had that look of all business in his face and his actions spoke louder than any of the words he’s been spitting at the media lately.

Pau’s 23 and 10 came in the most impressive fashion we’ve seen all season long. He got more touches in the paint and made the most of them. Keep it up, Pau. Efforts like these will get this team back into the title chase.

But as we all know it takes contributions from unexpected sources to hang banners.

Enter Andrew Goudelock. Along with the early contributions from Gasol the rookie sharpshooter helped carry the Lakers in the first half. Flashing some serious confidence, Goudelock showed that sweet shooting stroke by dropping 10 of his career-high 14 in the first half.

All game long the Lakers were playing from behind against the Clippers. It looked as if they were destined to drop their 4th in as many attempts against the Chris Paul-led Clippers.

Then something happened. Things got physical and the Lakers didn’t back down. Frustrations began to boil over as Kobe Bryant got a technical, Metta World Peace began to mix it up with Blake Griffin and for good measure Josh McRoberts got tossed.

Normally you’d expect this version of the Lake Show to collapse in the crunch, especially in a physical contest like this one. But that was not in the cards tonight.

If all you do is read the box score then you have no idea how huge World Peace was tonight. Playing a season best 38 minutes, Metta was every bit the hoops menace he’s built his career on.

Metta’s energy was infections. His only three points came on a clutch shot late in the fourth. He harassed every Clipper that crossed his path as he went after every loose ball, contested shots and was active for every second he was on the court.

Metta, we need much more of that. Forget stats. Just by being aggressive he does more for this team than if he were dropping 20 a night.

Another welcome sight was that angry nature of Andrew Bynum. When he’s dialed in Bynum has a very focused rage that makes him an unstoppable beast. Perhaps tired of all the DeAndre Jordan hype, Drew seems to give it to his cross-Staples counterpart whenever they play. That was no different tonight as Drew owned the paint and came up big in the clutch as well.

Naturally it was KB24 that led the way in scoring. But his 24 came in rather quiet fashion. Yes, Bryant hit some big shots and he too was very demonstrative helping to set the tone. Overall, Bryant played a very consistent game in which he picked his spots wisely. You’d like to see his minutes decrease a little for the long haul but when it comes to games like this there is just no way Brown is going to keep Kobe off the court.

There is no doubt that we’ve got ourselves a full fledged rivalry going. The Clippers are trying to take this town over and tonight the Lakers boldly proclaimed, “Not in our house!”

This game displayed the intense nature of the Lakers we haven’t seen in some time. If these guys revert to their recent form then this is the game Coach Brown needs to thrown on the DVD player and simply leave the room. Tonight’s Lake Show was an angry bunch that played with the fire of a champion burning in their belly.

From now on, this is how you play!

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Andrew Goudelock Battle Of Los Angeles Blake Griffin Chris Paul Deandre Jordan Josh Mcroberts Kobe Bryant Metta World Peace Mike Brown Pau Gasol

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