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Lakers vs. Clippers Game Preview: Afternoon playtime with little brother

The Lakers and Clippers grab lunch.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers were demolished by the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night but were lucky enough to head back home for their next game, even if it’s technically “away.” The LA Clippers are next in line to take their shot at the struggling Lakers in a matinee game at STAPLES Center.

The Lakers find themselves recovering from a devastating knockout in San Antonio, while the Clippers are riding a five-game winning streak. That’s without Blake Griffin, who is still recovering from undergoing knee surgery. DeAndre Jordan is coming off of a 20-rebound performance in a win over the Orlando Magic. Timofey Mozgov and the rest of the Lakers’ frontcourt will have their hands (and fouls) full while dealing with him in the paint.

D’Angelo Russell put the onus of the blowout loss on himself, saying he has to set the tone on both sides of the ball as the leading point guard. The problem for him most of the season is maintaining that level of activity and execution through four quarters, not just one stretch of his rotation minutes.

Chris Paul won’t make it easy for Russell to get into a groove on either side, and while the Lakers cleaned up against the Clippers on Christmas Day, that was without Paul on the court. Paul is averaging 17.7 points and 9.7 assists per game, continuing his excellence as the spearhead of the Clippers’ offense and defense.

This isn’t a great game for the Lakers to follow-up their loss in San Antonio with, but as early games go, anything’s possible if tip-off is before 1 p.m. PT. Enjoy the afternoon treat!

Time: 12:30 p.m. PT

TV: Spectrum SportsNet

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