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(Sunday, April 6th)
Final Score: LA Clippers 120, LA Lakers 97
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Paul and Blake Griffin netted 23 points apiece as the Los Angeles Clippers routed their crosstown rival Lakers, 120-97, on Sunday to clinch homecourt advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
After dropping the season opener to the Lakers, the playoff-bound Clippers easily took the next three games, outscoring them by an average of 35.7 points to take the season series, 3-1.
Six Clippers reached double figures in this one, with J.J. Redick pouring in 15 in his first start since returning to the court. The sharpshooter from Duke missed 25 games while dealing with a bulging disc in his back.
"Everyday I'm getting better and better," Redick said. "I'm feeling better physically and mentally. I'm getting my rhythm back."
Darren Collison scored 14 points in a reserve role while DeAndre Jordan added 11 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.
Jordan Hill paced the Lakers in their fourth straight loss with 22 points and nine rebounds. Nick Young scored 17 of his 18 points in the first half, playing limited minutes down the stretch with a sore left knee and ankle, and Kendall Marshall handed out 11 assists.
"We battled," said Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni. "We didn't have enough to win today. They focused more. They upped the ante and got us."
Hill was the lone bright spot offensively for the Lakers early on, scoring six of the team's eight points over the first six-plus minutes. Young checked in near the midpoint of the frame and injected life into the Lakers' attack, hitting a stepback 3-pointer, then drawing a foul shooting from distance and connecting on all three free throws to tie the score at 20-20.
Redick's triple with 39.6 seconds showing gave the Clips a three-point lead after one.
Young gave the Lakers a brief 27-25 lead after connecting on his first two shots of the second quarter. Jared Dudley countered with a 3-pointer and two free throws for the Clippers, who never trailed again after that.
Griffin and Paul combined for 12 of the 16 points during a 16-5 run to create some separation late in the period, and the hosts led 57-49 at intermission.
Griffin made four free throws during an 8-0 flurry to open the second half. The lead ballooned to 23 late in the third quarter on a Collison layup and the Lakers never got within 19 the rest of the way.
The Clippers have won five of six overall ... Hedo Turkoglu scored 10 off the Clippers' bench ... Jodie Meeks posted 17 points for LAL ... The Lakers took 12 more 3-pointers than the Clippers (31-19) but made three less ... LAC won the rebounding margin, 52-38.
04/06 19:28:06 ET
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