Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Clippers: Elton Brand, Sam Cassell, Shaun Livingston
Lakers: Coby Karl, Kwame Brown
12:00 After uncertainty over his playing status due to a strained groin, Kobe will suit up for the Lakers tonight.
11:18 Two consecutive blocks on the Clippers end results in an uncontested layup for Luke Walton. Only a minute of playing time’s gone by, but the Lakers look active to start the game, not showing any signs yet of taking the Clippers and their meager record lightly.
8:30 Kobe came up a little short on his first shot from about 20 feet out, but he just made a nice fade away to give the Lakers an 8-6 lead. So far, Kobe’s showing no ill signs of his groin injury which is a great sign for the team.
6:37 Andrew Bynum just electrified the STAPLES crowd, blocking Chris Kaman’s shot underneath the basket and rewarding himself by easily converting a shot over Kaman on the Lakers end. Two plays later, Bynum just threw down Derek Fisher’s ally-oop to continue his strong start.
4:42 Looks like Kobe’s heating up, connecting on his fourth consecutive shot from outside to push the Lakers lead to 21-11. So far, the Lakers have thoroughly dominated the Clippers on defense, refusing to allow L.A.’s step child to establish any rhythm or continuity on offense.
Jordan Farmar just entered the game for the first time, replacing Fisher.
3:35 Heat check over. Just like that, Kobe’s cooled off from the field, missing his last three attempts. In those misses, it looked like Kobe struggled to get enough lift on the shots…possibly a side effect of his groin injury?
1:56 Vladimir Radmanovic checks into the game, replacing Luke Walton.
1:03 Odom makes his second aggressive move in a row, first nailing a three then nearly making a three point play before being sent to the line for two. The Lakers lead by their largest margin of the game, 29-11.
Chris Mihm, Trevor Ariza and Sasha Vujacic join Farmar and Radman in all reserves lineup on the floor to open up the second quarter.
9:59 The STAPLES crowd is already calling for Mihm’s exit after he just bobbled an easy pass inside. It’s safe to say Chris is probably a little rusty after sitting out the past few games for the Lakers.
8:52 Trevor Ariza just made an acrobatic move underneath the basket, making the shot and drawing the foul. A few plays ago, Trevor tried forced up a difficult fade away, missing it badly. His last slashing drive to the basket is much more in line with his game.
6:58 Bynum and Odom return for the Lakers after the letting the Clippers climb back into the game, now trailing by only 10 at 39-29. On the previous Clips’ possession, Chris Kaman just easily shot over Mihm, obviously taking full advantage of Chris’s lack of lateral quickness. With Bynum back in the game, look for Kaman’s workload to become that much harder.
6:34 Kobe returns to the floor for the Lakers.
5:21 Luke Walton’s back in the game.
4:39 Walton swishes a three, one of the few times this season that Luke has shown no hesitation in putting up his shot. The Lakers followed Walton’s trey with another great possession, capped off by a whirling Bynum make and one (4:08).
2:16 Odom becomes the second Laker to reach double figures behind Kobe’s 13 after Lamar used his length effectively to knock in the lay-up over two outstretched Clippers’ defenders. Odom also has five rebounds to lead L.A.
HALFTIME: The Lakers are well on their way to sending the sellout crowd home with tacos once again, holding the Clippers to 44 points on 41.7% shooting. Kobe led the way for the Lakers with 18 points despite playing with a strained groin. Lamar Odom also added to the Lakers’ cause, compiling 10 points and pulling down a team high five rebounds. Andrew Bynum led the way on defense, blocking five Clippers shots to go along with his eight points.
10:05 Derek Fisher shows Lamar how it’s done, hitting nothing but net on his three after Odom missed badly on his attempt from beyond the arc on the Lakers’ previous possession.
8:20 Walton nails his third three of the game and second in a row to push the Lakers’ lead to 64-49. It’s night and day for Luke after a shaky return from injury last week. Whereas Luke has appeared timid in the majority of his games this season, he now seems to be getting a little bit of his confidence back. It comes at a great time for the Lakers as they head out on a four game road trip this week and will need to rely on their depth to compete in back-to-back games.
5:51 Phil does not look happy, showing some rare emotion after calling a timeout with the Lakers up by 14 at 72-58. Luke and Kobe have come out strong this quarter to outscore the Clippers by a point with a little more than half the quarter gone by. In other news, Topanga from Boy Meets World is in the house, cheering on the Lakers next to Jeanie Buss. Mr. Feeny anyone?
4:20 Wow. The Farmar-Bynum connection is in full force tonight. Jordan just launched his second rocket up to Bynum in a row, with Andrew throwing both passes down with ferocity and the crowd responding appropriately.
3:16 Trevor Ariza and Chris Mihm enter the game, replacing Bynum and Walton. The Lakers lead 77-66. Mihm wastes no time, finally getting on the board for the Lakers with a nifty jump shot.
36.1 With two Magette makes from the charity stripe, the Clippers have cut the Lakers lead to single digits at 82-73 for the first time since the opening half. Meanwhile, the Lakers look completely out of rhythm on both ends of the floor.
0:00 Magette just heaved up an impossible, one-handed hail-mary from half court and banked it in to shock the 18,997 in attendance and bring the Clippers to within six points of the Lakers.
9:39 Sasha weasels his way around Frahm to make a wide-open 18 footer and hits a three on the Lakers’ next possession to reclaim the 13 point lead the Lakers squandered in the waning moments of the third quarter. The Lakers have come out much more focused to open the quarter.
7:42 Kobe scans the court before making a fade away jumper to push the lead to 16. The Lakers guards are getting it done to open the final quarter, with Jordan making an easy two on the previous trip down the court and Sasha continuing to be aggressive on both ends of the court.
5:32 Sasha makes another shot, just inside of the three point line to give him double digits in scoring at 11 points. The Lakers have five players in double digits on the evening.
4:20 A little over four minutes to go and STAPLES is already yelling for tacos! Kobe gets a nice ovation as Walton replaced him for presumably the final four minutes of the game. Javaris Crittenton is also seeing some rare minutes for the Lakers.
2:49 Somebody put a fire extinguisher to Sasha. Vujacic just nailed another three pointer to push his total to 14 on the night.
2:17 Ronny Turiaf finally enters the game for the Lakers after spending almost the 48 minutes on the bench.
57.2 Obviously needing to throw up as many points as possible, Ronny just launched a…..three?! He missed badly, but it was a nice thought anyway.
FINAL SCORE: Lakers 113, Clippers 92