No lame ex­cuses as Lak­ers clip skid

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Los An­ge­les Lak­ers feel like they’ve spent at least a month short­handed due to in­juries and weary from an ex­traor­di­nar­ily grind­ing sched­ule.

When they fi­nally found an op­po­nent with even more ail­ments and ex­haus­tion, the Lak­ers didn’t waste the op­por­tu­nity to snap an em­bar­rass­ing ri­valry los­ing streak.

Nick Young and Ti­mofey Moz­gov scored 19 points apiece and the Lak­ers ended their 11-game skid against the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers with a 111102 vic­tory on Sun­day night.

Lou Wil­liams and D’An­gelo Russell added 14 points each for the Lak­ers, who hadn’t beaten their Sta­ples Cen­ter co-ten­ants since open­ing night of the 2013-14 sea­son.

The streak was tied for the Lak­ers’ long­est against any team since mov­ing to Los An­ge­les a half-cen­tury ago, and it was the Clip­pers’ long­est ac­tive win­ning streak against any op­po­nent.

With in­jured Clip­pers cor­ner- stones Blake Griffin and Chris Paul side­lined, the Lak­ers won with a sea­son-high seven scor­ers in dou­ble dig­its.

“It was needed,” Lak­ers coach Luke Wal­ton said. “It felt good to get this one back home. It’s been a tough cou­ple of weeks, and we had to come to­gether to win it.”

The Lak­ers surged from a half­time deficit to an 18-point lead dur­ing a dy­na­mite third quar­ter for their sec­ond win in 14. They also won on Christ­mas for the 22nd time, match­ing the New York Knicks’ NBA record.

“A win is a win, and no­body makes ex­cuses for us when we have guys down,” Wil­liams said.

“We got stops in the third quar­ter, and we were able to put a few (bas­kets) to­gether. We were the most ag­gres­sive team com­ing out of the locker room.”

J.J. Redick scored 22 points be­fore sit­ting out the fourth with a sore left ham­string for the Clip­pers, who couldn’t over­come the ab­sence of their two best play­ers.

Griffin is out for at least a month af­ter right knee surgery, while Paul was a late scratch for the sec­ond straight game with a left ham­string strain.

Ja­mal Craw­ford also scored 22 points and DeAn­dre Jor­dan had seven points, 10 re­bounds and a ca­reer­high six as­sists as the Clip­pers played their fourth of eight games in a 12-day stretch.

“We un­der­stand there’s go­ing to be times like this, weeks like this,” said Mar­reese Speights, who scored 15 points. “We just have to fight through it and be a bet­ter team.”

The Clip­pers held an 11-point lead dur­ing the first half, but the Lak­ers scored the first 11 points af­ter the break and even­tu­ally stretched their run to 28-12, tak­ing a 15-point lead into the fourth.

“I thought we took our jobs very se­ri­ously in the third quar­ter,” Wal­ton said.

The Lak­ers re­turned from a 1-6 road trip to be­gin a five-game home­s­tand with their first meet­ing of the sea­son against the Clip­pers.


Bran­don In­gram of the Los An­ge­les Lak­ers is air­borne de­fend­ing Mar­reese Speights of the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers in the first half of their game at Sta­ples Cen­ter on Sun­day. The Lak­ers snapped their 11-game los­ing streak with a 111-102 vic­tory.

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