Los Angeles Lakers: 3 keys to defeating the LA Clippers on Sunday

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images) /

Thus far, the LA Clippers have seemingly had the Los Angeles Lakers number, winning the first two meetings between the teams. The two teams that inhabit Los Angeles meet for the third time on Sunday, and here are three keys for the Lakers to come away from the game victorious.

Coming into this season, there was not a more anticipated matchup than that of the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers. The Battle for Los Angeles.

This season, the Lakers have not been able to defeat the Clippers. In their two meetings thus far, the Clippers have looked like the superior team. The Lakers have struggled offensively against their Los Angeles counterparts. Kawhi Leonard has looked like the best player on the floor on either team. Sunday, though, this has to change.

The Lakers need to know that they can beat the Clippers, before meeting them in the playoffs.

The two teams will face off for the third time this season on March 8th, with the Clippers designated as the home team. This game will, presumably, be the final time we see these teams play at full strength before an impending playoff matchup, as their fourth meeting will come during a Lakers’ back-to-back-to-back, a result of postponing the original game.

That means this game, likely, will be the Lakers’ last opportunity of the regular season to beat the Clippers. And it is imperative that they do.

When the Lakers and Clippers play, this season, with these superstars, it just feels different. No part of their previous two meetings has felt like a regular-season game. The teams do not like one another. They’ve heard everything said since Kawhi signed with the Clippers in July.

The Clippers feel overlooked. They feel that it is their time to be the big brother. They’re done being in the Lakers shadow. Steve Ballmer is looking to build a new arena and is close to buying the Forum. The Clippers want their own identity.

The Lakers feel disrespected. Everyone is picking the Clippers. They have more talent, too much depth, LeBron James is too old. People are still picking against The King? Really?

The Lakers are built on chemistry. There is a sense of togetherness that has not been replicated by many NBA teams of the past. The Lakers want to show the rest of the league that the purple and gold are officially back.

Sunday is the biggest game of the year, to this point, for the Lakers. It is, perhaps, the biggest game of the year, to this point, in the entire NBA. The Lakers have to avenge their losses from Opening Night and Christmas Day. With that being said, here are three things the Lakers must do on Sunday to defeat the Clippers.