The Los Angeles Lakers found themselves smack dab in the middle of a Christmas Day miracle in a 111-102 victory over the Clippers. Sure, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul were out and J.J. Redick was forced out early with a hamstring injury, but the Lakers tried just about everything they could to give away another win as the fourth quarter rolled in.
Luckily, they did just enough to son their little brothers as the NBA bid adieu to its premier day of hoops. Christmas Day hasn’t been kind to the Lakers in recent years, but they managed to snap a losing streak going back to 2012 when they beat to the New York Knicks.
The Lakers’ bench, which has typically been the fuel for their fires, had a quiet night. It was mostly about the starters, who all reached double-digits in scoring. Luol Deng had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Julius Randle stuffed the stat sheet in his return, scoring 13 points with eight assists and seven rebounds.
Timofey Mozgov’s third-quarter explosion set the Lakers up for success after they went into halftime with a small deficit. Mozgov erupted for 12 points following halftime, making five of his six attempts. He finished the night with 19 points.
D’Angelo Russell and Lou Williams put on the finishing touches just as the Clippers started to smell a comeback in the air during the fourth quarter. The Lakers led by as many as 15 points, but the Clippers cut it down to four points, threatening another collapse from the purple and gold. Russell and Williams hit clutch buckets in the final frame to keep the Clippers at bay, and Nick Young put it away with a three-pointer with 38 seconds left. Swaggy P drained another five threes in this one.
The Lakers broke their four-game losing streak, ended Christmas with a gift — albeit a stressful one — and get to enjoy another four games in a row at STAPLES Center. They’ll be back at it Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.