NBA Game Summary - LA Clippers at LA Lakers
(Sunday, April 9th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 100, LA Clippers 83
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant poured in 38 points to lead the playoff-hopeful Lakers over the Clippers, 100-83, in the battle for Los Angeles at the Staples Center.
Lamar Odom had a huge game with 23 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who are tied with Sacramento for seventh in the Western Conference. However, with four games remaining for both teams it's likely the Kings and Lakers will be in the playoffs. They are each three games clear of the Jazz and Hornets, who both have six games left.
"We executed a lot better in the second quarter," Bryant said. "Defensively we did a great job. We played hard. Lamar had a great game."
Luke Walton tallied 13 points for the Lakers, who won for the seventh time in 10 games. Sunday marked the start of five consecutive home games to end the season for the Lakers, with upcoming contests against Golden State, Portland, Phoenix and New Orleans/Oklahoma City.
Sam Cassell and Elton Brand each posted 24 points for the Clippers, who have already secured a playoff berth and stand fifth in the conference, a half- game ahead of Memphis. Brand also had 10 rebounds and Chris Kaman tallied 11 boards for the Clippers, losers of two straight.
"The difference in the game was our careless turnovers that turned into easy points for them," Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Our turnovers and shot selection weren't very good. I credit their defense."
A dunk by Shaun Livingston had the Clippers within 72-71 early in the fourth, but Bryant converted a three-point play and Brian Cook added a jumper to give the Lakers some breathing room.
The closest the Clippers could get after that was three points, on Brand's turnaround jumper with 6:57 left, which made the score 80-77. However, Bryant converted a finger roll and then drilled a three-pointer before Odom's jam capped seven straight points for the Lakers.
The Clippers led 24-20 after the first quarter, but the Lakers scored seven in a row during the second to take a 37-33 lead. Seven straight points by Odom, including a dunk to end the rally, boosted the Lakers to a 44-34 cushion with 2:36 remaining until halftime. The score was 50-45 in favor of the Lakers at the half.
Although the Clippers never managed to lead in the second half, they did tie the game twice, the last time at 67 on a jumper by Cassell with 3:23 left in the third. The score was 72-69 going into the fourth.
Because of the Clippers' loss, Phoenix clinched the Pacific Division title...Kwame Brown had nine points and eight boards for the Lakers.
04/10 00:31:27 ET