The Los Angeles Lakers' young core was impressive early and gave the Clippers a run for the first half, but as has happened so frequently throughout the season, poor play coming out of halftime led to a 105-93 Lakers' loss, extending their season-long losing streak to nine games.
The Lakers got DeAndre Jordan in foul trouble in the first quarter (picking up 2 in his first 5 minutes) sending him to the bench and allowing the Lakers to stay close behind aggressive drives from their wings and Julius Randle. Clarkson scored 9 points in the period as the Lakers took advantage of 3 Clippers first quarter turnovers and a lack of rim protection by Cole Aldrich to take a 29-28 lead into the second quarter.
The Lakers used 14 first half free-throw attempts to help themselves stay in the game in the first half, only trailing 54-49 heading into the halftime break despite the Clippers out-shooting them 51.3% to 41.9% in the first two quarters.
The Lakers actually held a 63-60 lead midway through the third quarter, but coughed up the ball eight times in the period to fuel a 18- 8 Clippers run that allowed them to take a 78-71 lead into the final frame. More sloppy play from the Lakers down the stretch allowed the Clippers to extend their lead before ultimately leaving Staples Center with the win.
Randle was the main bright spot for the Lakers, playing his third consecutive good game and finishing with a double-double of 23 points (a new career high) and 14 rebounds, but coughed up the ball 6 times to fuel the Clippers' fastbreaks that put the game out of reach. Additionally, Clarkson had his best scoring game in a few contests, finishing with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
Chris Paul (27 points on 18 shots with 7 assists) led the way for the Clippers, but he was aided by the rebounding and defense of Jordan (6 points, 17 rebounds, and 1 block), and some bench scoring from Austin Rivers (17 points on 14 shots), who knifed through the Lakers' defense for easy baskets at the rim with consistency all night. Lance Stephenson was also impressive, not missing a shot until the fourth quarter and finishing with 16 points of his own.
The Lakers will look to break their losing streak when they host the Charlotte Hornets this Sunday at 6:30 PST.
All stats per ESPN.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.