Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers are the designated home team today at Staples Center as they battle Lamar Odom and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Big Fourth Quarter Makes The Difference For Clippers, Beat Lakers 99-92

Eric Gordon led all scorers with 30 points.

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Gordon, Griffin Best Lakers At Staples 99-92

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Eric Gordon led all scorers with 30 points and rookie Blake Griffin registered his franchise-record 26th straight double- double with 18 points and 15 rebounds before getting ejected late in the fourth quarter, as the Los Angeles Clippers snapped the Lakers’ seven-game winning streak with a 99-92 victory at Staples Center.

With the Clippers up 99-90 and 5.7 seconds remaining, Griffin got tangled up with Lamar Odom after Randy Foye’s three throw. Odom grabbed the power forward by the jersey and push him out of bounds. After other players got involved, order was quickly restored with no punches being thrown.

Odom, Griffin, the Lakers’ Ron Artest and Clippers’ Baron Davis were all ejected.

Davis chipped in 14 points and eight assists, while DeAndre Jordan finished with 15 rebounds to go with eight points for the Clippers, who earned only their third win in the last 14 meetings with the Lakers. The Clippers have won four of five overall.

Kobe Bryant ended with a team-best 27 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who were serving as the visitor and had won nine of 10 coming into the contest. Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 13 boards in defeat.

“I didn’t like our energy tonight,” Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. “They exposed us at the end of the game and we had a couple of defensive lapses. Gordon had a really good game.”

The Lakers were ahead 79-73 with 6:26 left in the fourth, but Gordon’s three and a layup by Griffin cut the deficit to one. Artest snapped the string with a triple, but Gordon countered with a three-ball and Griffin’s baby hook-shot and power move inside put the Clippers in front by an 85-82 margin with 3:41 remaining.

Foye’s trey, a steal and breakaway dunk by Gordon and free throw from Griffin stretched the Clips lead to 93-85 with 1:50 to play and they held on down the stretch.

Gordon scored eight points in the opening quarter to help the Clippers grab a 27-22 lead after 12 minutes.

In a back-and-forth second quarter, Bryant’s free throw in the closing seconds gave the Lakers a slim 45-44 edge heading into the locker room.

With the Lakers down 53-51 in the early stages of the third, Bryant accounted for 12 points in a 16-2 run to put his squad up 67-55 with 3:05 left in the period.

Bryant started the burst with a three-point play, then finished it by draining a three-pointer. However, Gordon beat the buzzer with a corner three that capped a 13-4 run to get the Clippers within 71-68 heading into the fourth.

Game Notes

Odom and Artest both finished with 10 points for the Lakers, who shot 41.3 percent from the field, but made only 3-of-20 from three-point territory…Foye ended with nine points for the Clippers, who made 43.7 percent of their shots and 9-of-21 from beyond the arc.

For more information on today’s game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll and Clips Nation.


Lakers Vs. Clippers: Ron Artest Has Been Hot Of Late

As the Los Angeles Lakers seek their eighth straight victory today, battling the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, they will look to the suddenly hot Ron Artest. The small forward has been knocking down his open shots of late, especially from distance. Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times offered his explanation as to why Artest has been playing so well of late, including making seven of 12 three-pointers in his last three games:

Artest's play has also appeared to improve, as indicated by his late-game shots against Phoenix and Golden State, improved entry passes and some feisty defensive play against New York, which helped set the Lakers' tone defensively as they continue sharpening the new scheme that emphasizes closing out on the perimeter, forcing opponents baseline and the frontcourt remaining close to the basket.

But it goes deeper than that. Artest has been knocking down threes since Christmas, almost as if he asked for and received the gift of long distance shooting from Santa Claus. Artest made both three-pointers that day against the Heat and in his last 12 games has made 20 of his 37 shots (54.1%) from beyond the arc. He has made at least two threes in nine of those 12 games, and in the other three games Artest didn't force things, going 0-for-1 three times. Incidentally, Artest has only made 21 of 52 two-point field goals (40.4%) during that stretch, so perhaps sticking to those corner threes is the way to go.

Here are today's probable starters:

Lakers (30-11)

Clippers (13-25)

For more information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll and Clips Nation.


Lakers, Clippers Face Off In Staples Center Showdown

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers will play the host Sunday afternoon when they square off with their Staples Center co-tenants, the two-time defending NBA champion Lakers. The resurgent Clippers, who are opening up a three-game homestand, lost for the first time in four contests on Friday when Monta Ellis scored 30 points and dished out six assists to help the Golden State Warriors beat the Clips, 122-112, in Oakland.

Emerging superstar Blake Griffin recorded his franchise-record 25th straight double-double with 28 points and 13 rebounds for Vinny Del Negro's club, while Eric Gordon also scored 28 points in defeat. "We can't let down just because we lost this game," Gordon said. "We have some big games coming up. This is a lesson. We just have to get back to playing basketball."

The Lakers, who have a more than comfortable 11 1/2 game lead over second place Phoenix in the Pacific Division, won their seventh straight contest on Friday when Kobe Bryant notched 27 points to help the champs earn a 100-88 win over the lowly New Jersey Nets at Staples Center. Pau Gasol totaled 20 points and nine rebounds while Ron Artest and Lamar Odom both scored 14 points. Odom added 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who have also won seven straight against the Nets. Shannon Brown had 12 points in the victory.

"I felt pretty good out there," said Bryant. "It's been a while for me to work myself back into the rhythm. These are the toughest games for me to play." A win this afternoon and the Lakers would match their 8-0 start for their longest winning streak of the season. The Lakers have won 11 of their last 13 meetings over the Clippers, including a thrilling 87-86 win on Dec. 8 capped by Derek Fisher's layup at the buzzer.

For more information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll and Clips Nation.

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