Aside from the final few minutes of the third quarter, the Lakers dominated the inner city rival Los Angeles Clippers, outscoring them by 15 in the fourth quarter and eventually winning 113-92. Kobe Bryant led the way for the Lakers, finishing with 32 points to go along with eight rebounds. Andrew Bynum led the way for the Lakers on defense with six huge blocks in addition to his 14 points. Luke Walton showed signs of resurrection for L.A. with 15 points. Sasha Vujacic also came through in the fourth quarter for the Lakers with 14 points to energize the team in the final stretch.
After the game, Jackson praised the Lakers’ effort in the fourth quarter after a third quarter which he termed laborious. The Lakers led by 13 at halftime, but allowed the Clippers to climb to within six points after Corey Maggette’s Hail Mary shot from half court at the third quarter buzzer. Jackson said that he left Kobe in the game for extended stretches in the second half because he was weary of Maggette’s ability to drive with the Lakers already over the foul limit. Jackson said the Lakers were able to get the Clippers to turnover the ball in the opening half of the fourth quarter, effectively shutting down the Clippers’ comeback bid.
Jackson also complimented Andrew Bynum’s defensive job on the Clippers’ Chris Kaman, dictating the tempo of the game from the first quarter onwards. Jackson said that Andrew’s recognition on defense is good, but he still has some stamina issues to work through.
Looking ahead to the upcoming four game road trip, Jackson said it is critical that the Lakers play well in the first game versus the Chicago Bulls to gain momentum for the rest of the trip. While the Lakers are playing four teams with losing records, Jackson cautioned that the Lakers have not played well against the Eastern Conference during his second stint with the team.