The last time the Lakers started a season 0-3. That team, led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, ended up getting to the Western Semi’s that year, falling to eventual champion Seattle. “Right now I’m extremely disappointed,” said guard Steve Blake, who started in place of Steve Nash (lower leg contusion). “It’s not acceptable for us to be losing like this, but we will come in and we will work harder.”
Kobe Bryant’s shooting percentage through three games, on 35 of 57 field goals, including 5 of 10 three pointers, doubly impressive since he’s been playing on a strained right foot that kept him out of the final eight days of the preseason. He said his foot “feels like it’s about to fall off right now” after the game.
Points for Bryant, who played 44 minutes in his 17th season in the NBA. Mike Brown acknowledged that it was too many, but said the Lakers simply weren’t getting scoring production elsewhere.
Minutes played by Dwight Howard, who managed to stay on the floor for the entire fourth quarter after playing limited minutes in the first three due to foul trouble. Howard barely played in either the second or the third, when the Clippers outscored L.A. 30-20 to take control of the game.
Turnovers for the Lakers a game after they committed 25 in a loss at Portland. Mike Brown identified the TO’s as the biggest culprit in both losses. “A lot of them is just getting the timing down,” added Bryant. “We just have to get a little more in sync on where to put the ball so the weak side can’t come make deflections and knock them away.”
Assists for Clips PG Chris Paul, who turned the ball over only one time while adding 18 points, six boards and three steals in a terrific floor game. “Chris is a floor general out there and he’s going to control the tempo of the game,” said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. “He did a very good job at pushing the basketball, getting in the paint and making plays for us.”
Blocks for Howard, who was able to protect the rim when he was in the game. The Clippers scored 42 paint points to L.A.’s 46, even with Bryant scoring so frequently on the perimeter.