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New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Clippers – Game 2

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (0-2) | Los Angeles Clippers (1-0)


The Lakers lost 103-97 to the Clippers in their season opener despite Lonnie Walker IV stepping up and scoring a team-leading 26 points.


Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: Mark J Terrill/AP

The Lakers rolled out the same starters as their season opener against the Golden State Warriors. At the same time, the Clippers started Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Norman Powell, Marcus Morris, and Ivica Zubac.

Clippers head coach Ty Lue told reporters that Kawhi Leonard would come off the bench to ensure that he’d be available to close the game while also still limiting his minutes.

Rookie Cole Swider was out with right foot soreness, Dennis Schröder, and Thomas Bryant will need three weeks before being reevaluated, and Troy Brown Jr. could also possibly be nearing a return. Lonnie Walker IV started the game off right, scoring five points in just five minutes of play as well as a nice pass to Anthony Davis, who would then score an and-1.

At the end of the first quarter, the Lakers found themselves down by 12. Losing 35-23 with the Clippers in the lead, Powell and John Wall led the way with 16 combined points. Wall came into the game and got to cooking. He scored six points in his first three minutes.

The Lakers trailed 41-36 into a timeout early in the 2nd quarter after a quick 5-0 run from Matt RyanThe Clippers had a 12-5 edge in FT attempts, with the Lakers being foul-happy early. The Lakers took care of the ball at this point with just two turnovers. They made six three-pointers to the Clippers’ four.

After falling behind by 16 points, the Lakers managed a quick 10-0 run to get back into it. This was the product of a made Davis three-pointer, a Juan Toscano and-1 layup, a Walker IV layup off a steal, and a Davis put-back layup after another steal.

It was 52-46 in the Clippers’ favor at 3:43 in the half. The Lakers trailed by 16 points but rallied to tie it up at 54 a piece as LeBron James found Davis in transition. Walker IV continued his strong night with 12 points and two assists in his 12 minutes

Leonard finally came in as planned in the middle of the 2nd quarter. He made his first two shots, but he missed his next three and was a game-worst -10 as the Lakers roared back to tie at the half. 

The team did not respond to his hugely anticipated return. The Lakers were a +12 in his 2nd Q minutes. It was all tied at 56 going into halftime. The Lakers trailed 52-36 at the 5:27 mark of the 2nd quarter, but then they outscored the Clippers 20-4 to close the half.


The Lakers overcame deficits and kept the game close against the Clippers in the first half, but with the game tied at 56 by halftime, the Lakers fell behind again in the third.


Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: Mark J Terrill/AP

Davis hit his 2nd triple in three attempts moments after landing hard on his back, which had been sore since the start of preseason.  Davis went to the back for a few minutes, but he headed to the scorer’s table to return after the next time out. The Clippers capped a 9-0 run in his absence to take a 74-65 lead.

Davis didn’t go to the locker room but was in the tunnel to stretch and keep loose. Davis told reporters after the game that he’s “pretty sure I’ll be alright.

The Lakers trailed 85-77 after three quarters. The Clippers outscored them in the third quarter 29-21.

The Lakers rallied from a double-digit deficit once again and took the lead in style, as Austin Reaves threw up a perfect transition lob that Walker IV went way up to hammer home. The Lakers trailed 82-68 before this big run that had them up 89-87.

The one guy the Lakers didn’t want open for a transition three was Luke Kennard, who hit one after a corner miss from Patrick Beverley. Davis went for the offensive rebound, and the Clippers had a man advantage the other way.

The Lakers now trailed 95-91 with 5:39 to play. They didn’t convert a field goal since the 6:24 mark of the 4th when they trailed 92-91. But they battled defensively and trailed 99-95 with 1:04 left.

Despite riding strong efforts from LeBron James with 20 points, ten rebounds, six assists, and two blocks, Davis with 25 points and eight rebounds, and Walker IV had 26 points, three rebounds, and three assists, the Lakers lost 103-97 to the Clippers.


Some quick Takeaways


Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE/Getty Images

The Lakers battled back from deficits of 16 and 14 points, but their backcourt players couldn’t get shots to fall, especially from the three-point line, where they shot an abysmal 9 for 45 overall. Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, and Beverley accounted for 1-16 of the Lakers’ 3-point attempts. Even worse, they were a combined 1-25 from the field.

I trust them. They’ll bounce back and play better next time around,” head coach Darvin Ham told reporters after the game. “We’ll go and look at the film and see how we can help them be better.”

Westbrook had a solid game last time out but crashed down to reality hard with just two points from the free throw line, three rebounds, and four assists in 27 minutes of play. He didn’t make a single shot tonight on 11 attempts from the field and six attempted threes.

However, Westbrook’s defense was stellar tonight to compensate for his offensive struggles. He made big stops on Leonard, finishing with five steals. George had just 15 points on 4-12 shooting from the field, along with ten rebounds and two steals. Leonard came off the bench and scored just 14 points, and grabbed seven rebounds. Wall had 15 points off the bench.

The Lakers’ inability to shoot continues to be their main weakness. They shot what is now a season-low 20% from three compared to the Clippers 31%. This has become the point of emphasis on why they will lose games this year. They did shoot 84.6% from the free-throw line, so that’s not a concern.

James told reporters that when you play the right way, you can live with the results, even if they’re disappointing. Like in tonight’s case. He noted that the missed shots came from making the right passes after moving bodies and finding the open guy. He was pleased with the defensive effort.


The Lakers will look to win their first game of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers Sunday, October 23rd, at 12:30 p.m. at the Arena. The game will be available on the NBA League Pass.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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