An upset wasn’t in the cards for the injury-plagued Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, as they fell to the LA Clippers 104-86 at Staples Center.
A loss was always the most likely outcome for the Lakers because, unlike the Clippers, their two stars — LeBron James and Anthony Davis — weren’t available. However, there was a faint hope that Markieff Morris would will the Lakers to a win in his first head-to-head start against his brother Marcus since they both came to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
Markieff wasn’t bad, or at least not any more bad than his teammates; Marcus was just really good, leading all scorers with 22 points on 9-13 shooting from the field and 4-5 shooting from behind the arc. The Lakers only had three more 3-pointer than Marcus. Marc Gasol accounted for three of the Lakers 3-pointers.
Ivica Zubac also made life hell on the Lakers, posting a plus-minus of +23 in the 31:13 he played on Sunday. What are the odds the Clippers swap him for a fringe rotation player this summer?
All half-jokes aside, Sunday wasn’t the beginning of the end for the Lakers. James and Davis will be back eventually and the players that are currently available will look a lot better when they do.
The Lakers’ latest loss also didn’t have an affect on their place in the Western Conference standings, although that could change if the No. 5 seed Denver Nuggets beat the Orlando Magic on Sunday. The Nuggets are only a half game back of the Lakers and they own the tiebreaker.
The Lakers will be hoping to get their fourth win without James and Davis when they fly to Tampa Bay to take on the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.