Clippers shoot Lakers out of the building as Rui Hachimura looms

Jan 24, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann (14) celebrates after a 3 point basket in the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 24, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann (14) celebrates after a 3 point basket in the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers fanbase probably didn’t care too much about this matchup against the Clippers, win, lose or draw. Why? All eyes are on Rui Hachimura, the newest addition to the roster, about 24 hours ago.

The excitement (Or hope!) is back in Laker town with the reports of Anthony Davis soon to return to the lineup after being out seemingly forever with a foot injury.

If the Los Angeles Lakers hadn’t pulled one of the more ridiculous comebacks of the NBA season against the Portland Trail Blazers erasing a 25-point halftime lead to win 121-112 on Sunday night, fans might have turned off the television and gone to bed.

But the Los Angeles Clippers are a legitimate NBA playoff contender while the Blazers are one of the 30 NBA franchises if you know what that means. In short speak…

The Los Angeles Clippers are not the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Clippers jumped all over the Lakers early…often…and frequently to ride off to a 77-54 halftime lead. If it wasn’t for LeBron James’ 18 points, the TNT studio crew would have just cracked jokes instead of giving analysis.

The Lake Show’s two-game winning streak was built on impressive comebacks and they needed another herculean effort to make it three straight.

Umm…they didn’t.

The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 133-115 for the tenth straight time in the Ty Lue coaching era. Didn’t the Lakers have a chance to hire this guy? Oh that’s right, they skipped over him to hire Frank Vogel.

The good of the Los Angeles Lakers loss:

The Lakers have no time to sweat this game.

The game ended and the Los Angeles Lakers will forget this one quickly as they play the San Antonio Spurs with Rui Hachimura and possibly Anthony Davis in the lineup tomorrow.

LeBron James did shoot the ball well! 

This is a big deal considering he ranks next to last in qualified 3-point shooters (That would be 149th to the ones following at home!). He knocked down NINE of them on the way to 46 points while adding 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

He has now dropped 40 or more points on every NBA team distancing himself from the late Kobe Bryant and James Harden.

The Lakers didn’t quit!

They made yet another run to make things interesting before the Clippers had an 8-0 run in 45 seconds in the final quarter to put things away. NBA teams have to play 48 minutes against this squad or they will have seemingly sure wins getting stolen.

The bad of the Los Angeles Lakers loss:   

The Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff thought it would be a good idea to guard Kawhi Leonard one on one with Patrick Beverley!  

Like seriously, Patrick Beverley is considered around the league as an overrated defender anyway, but even if he wasn’t, there was no chance of him guarding one of the best players in the NBA in Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers just looked at the matchup and handed the ball to Kawhi for chair shooting drills. That loosened the defense and the Lakers were down 9-0 in the first three minutes of the game.

Kawhi dropped one of the easier 25-point performances of his career.

The theme of this post-game report is…The Los Angeles Clippers ARE NOT the Portland Trail Blazers.

Now let’s get to the after-effects of this head-scratching move.

Paul George got hot!

It’s strange watching Paul George when he plays his LA counterparts. He is highly skilled but his efficiency falls off with the Lakers’ defense for some reason. Well when the Lakers had to adjust for Pat Bev’s shortcomings on defense, it opened up the lanes for PG-13 to do his thing. He had 17 points at halftime to match LeBron’s production.

He finished with 27 points while filling the stat sheet. Oh, it gets worse.

It seemed every Clippers player that touched the floor was knocking down shots from the land of the extra point!

Lakers fans, the Clippers shot 15-22 from the field…IN THE FIRST HALF! This was the game, no other analysis needed. It’s scary when Kawhi Leonard was the only guard or wing to miss from behind the arc. But the long-distance shots allowed him to do work in the paint. The Lake Show had no answers when these guys started stroking 3 point shots.

The Clippers were well prepared!

Steve Ballmer paid the cable bill and made sure the trend of comebacks didn’t happen to them.

The story of the Los Angeles Lakers loss:   

This dude plays tomorrow! 

Anthony Davis too? We’ll see.