As they did in their previous two games, the Los Angeles Lakers fell behind big on Wednesday, this time to the Los Angeles Clippers and by as many as 23 points.
But this time, the Lakers weren’t able to come back and win.
They made a bit of a run in the fourth quarter to make things interesting, coming within 10, but the Clippers were simply too much.
Kawhi Leonard and company came out red-hot early, jumping to a 9-0 lead, and they seemingly couldn’t miss from 3-point range, going 15-of-23 from that distance in the first half.
The Purple and Gold also were outrebounded, 47-32, as their lack of size and length were evident in the paint and while rotating defensively.
It resulted in a 133-115 loss, which was the Lakers’ fifth loss in their last eight games.
James did just about all he could to try to make this game competitive. He had that look on his face that seemed to say, “I’m not letting my team lose tonight.”
He shot 16-of-29 and finished with 46 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals. For a change, he got hot from downtown by hitting 9-of-14 from 3-point range, which set a new career-high for most made treys in a single game.
Unfortunately, he received very little help at both ends of the floor. With the game out of reach, head coach Darvin Ham took James out with 5:07 left in the fourth quarter.
Brown was pretty much almost a non-factor in this game. He shot 3-of-7 overall and 1-of-5 from downtown, giving him seven points, three assists, one rebound and one blocked shot in 28 minutes.
With new acquisition Rui Hachimura set to possibly make his Lakers debut on Wednesday, Brown may become the odd man out in the rotation, especially if Hachimura gets significant playing time at the 3.
Bryant gave the Lakers a lift by scoring 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc to go along with seven rebounds.
However, his lack of defense is apparent, which allowed the Clippers to break down the Lakers through dribble penetration, which set up their 19 made 3-pointers.
Beverley had some moments where he played some harassing defense, especially when the Lakers made their attempt at a run in the fourth quarter. But overall, he was very ineffective.
He finished the game 1-of-8 overall and 1-of-6 from 3-point land, scoring just three points to go along with four assists, two boards and one steal.