NBA scores: Clippers, Lakers trending in distinctly opposite directions

Harry How

The Clippers and Lakers continued their 2012 role reversal over this past weekend.

Both Los Angeles teams had paradoxical polar weekends, with the Clippers continuing to build on their six-game winning streak and the Lakers dropping consecutive games.

Starting with a glass-half-full approach, the Clippers had two dominant wins on Saturday and Sunday following their two-day hiatus. The first was a 117-99 victory over the faltering Phoenix Suns in which Los Angeles' bench single-handedly doubled its opponents' production in the fourth quarter. The second was a 102-83 home win over the Toronto Raptors in which their backups gave the Clippers a double-digit fourth quarter lead that they wouldn't waste.

Much of the Clippers' recent off-the-pine success can be attributed to a Mr. Jamal Crawford, who has been averaging 18.8 points and 3.2 assists over their last five games.

As for the other L.A. team, the Lakers defense failed them on two occasions this past weekend, as it allowed its opponent to break 100 for the fifth and sixth consecutive games. Los Angeles' first loss was a 114-108 defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. The Lakers had no answer for Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant on the evening, as they allowed the hot-shooting superstars to combine for 69 points.

Two nights later, the Lakers fell again, this time to the Utah Jazz, 117-110. With Los Angeles struggling to contain Paul Millsap (24 points, nine rebounds, three steals), the Jazz were able to own the Lakers in the paint throughout the evening (54 to 34 points).

With the losses, the Lakers moved to 4-7 under the guidance of Mike D'Antoni on the season.

For continued Clippers and Lakers coverage, check back with SB Nation Los Angeles throughout the week.

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