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Lakers escape with late win over Clippers

The Lakers didn’t shoot the ball well, but did just enough other things to beat the Clippers in their third game of Las Vegas Summer League.

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2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Los Angeles Lakers v LA Clippers Photo by Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images

During their summer league stints in both Sacramento and Las Vegas, the motley crew of undrafted free agents the Lakers have assembled to take a closer look at have developed a reputation as a group of cardiac kids, with the results of their games often coming down to the wire. Friday night’s matchup with the LA Clippers was no exception, but the purple and gold were able to pull this one out, winning 86-84.

The Lakers led basically the whole way, with the Clippers only taking their second lead of the game in the fourth quarter. But down the stretch, Justin Robinson (13 points) and Vic Law (15 points) were able to put it away for the Lakers, hitting several clutch buckets to give them just enough breathing room to escape with a win after former NBA blogger and Clippers undrafted free agent Jason Preston missed a late layup through the contact that could have sent the game to overtime.

Elsewhere, Austin Reaves continued to demonstrate why the Lakers gave him a two-way contract mere moments after the 2021 NBA Draft, scoring 9 points on a number of confident pull-up jumpers. The purple and gold are also well-served from an evaluation perspective from him continuing to fire, even if this wasn’t his most efficient scoring night (3-11).

His fellow starter and Lakers summer league scoring leader Devontae Cacok has a bit more to play for without an NBA home for next season yet, also kept flashing the experience he’s picked up in his two years in Los Angeles, scoring 12 points on 5-10 shooting and flashing an array of nice reads to cutters out of the post that his teammates seldom rewarded him for by finishing the feeds. As a team, this was hardly an offensive showcase for the Lakers, who shot 38.1% from the field overall.

Still, the Lakers got to the free-throw line and made enough freebies (13-21, compared to 5-14 for the Clippers) and played just stout enough defense to pull out a victory anyway.

This win gives the Lakers a 2-1 record in Las Vegas, and the team will wrap up summer league group play on Saturday against the Detroit Pistons and No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham. That game will tip off at 7 p.m. PT, and be televised nationally on ESPN 2.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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