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Kobe-less Lakers down Clippers
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Lakers didn't have Kobe Bryant for their season opener, but their unheralded supporting cast came up big Tuesday to down the rival Clippers, 116-103, at Staples Center.
Bryant, still rehabbing his Achilles injury, watched from the bench as Xavier Henry, Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks and Jordan Hill took over late to give the Lakers a surprising victory in the season's first battle for Los Angeles.
Henry scored 22 points, Farmar added 16 and Meeks and Hill added 13 and 12, respectively, for the Lakers, who made 14 3-pointers and erupted for 41 points over the final 12 minutes.
Pau Gasol chipped in 15 points and 13 rebounds in the resounding win.
The Clippers' bench was a key component in last season's franchise-record 56- win campaign. They added several new names to the fold after falling in the first round of the playoffs, most notably J.J. Redick, who had 13 points in a losing effort.
They also switched head coaches from Vinny Del Negro to Doc Rivers, and Rivers saw his bench get outscored 76-34 in his first game on LA's bench.
Blake Griffin paced the Clippers with 19 points, DeAndre Jordan checked in with 17 points and 11 boards and Chris Paul scored 15 with 11 assists.
10/30 01:24:18 ET