The Los Angeles Lakers may be fresh off of an air-it-out meeting, but they looked like the same team in the midst of their worst stretch of the year in a 121-106 loss to the LA Clippers. Head coach Luke Walton changed things up with new starting lineup, but the result was more of the same we’ve been seeing from the purple and gold lately.
Julius Randle received his first starting nod of the season, filling in as the starting center alongside Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. It was a tough night for the Kuzma-Randle frontcourt, dealing with the return of Blake Griffin. Griffin scored a game-high 24 points on 6-of-15 shooting, while DeAndre Jordan dominated the boards with 16 rebounds.
The Clippers got out to an early lead, running up a 9-0 start in the first quarter, and the Lakers never quite found their footing through the remainder of the contest. Ingram went scoreless through the first half, but would turn things around a bit through the second. Brandon scored all 18 of his points in the second half.
Randle scored 18 points with seven rebounds in his first start of the season. Jordan Clarkson added in a team-high 20 points and seven assists off the bench. Lou Williams gave the Lakers a reminder about the scoring machine that he is, putting in 23 points. He did much of his damage from the line, making 13 of his 15 free-throw attempts.
Three-point shooting was a problem once again, with the Lakers going 3-of-19 from downtown. The Lakers have now officially went winless in STAPLES Center through all of December, an ugly mark that accurately represents the level of play we’re seeing from them lately.
The Lakers go back to the drawing board Saturday before giving us a back-to-back to bridge the new year. Until Sunday, folks.