Andrew Bynum and Kobe Bryant helped withstand a furious Clippers rally in the fourth quarter, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 113-108 win over the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night at Staples Center. The victory was huge in the Pacific Division race, as the Lakers are now up two games in the loss column over the Clippers and hold the tiebreaker by virtue of winning two of three games with the Clippers.
The Lakers managed to build a 14-point lead in the final minute of the third quarter, but Chris Paul led a comeback rally for the Clippers. A 26-11 run by the Clippers culminated in a three-foot hook shot by DeAndre Jordan with 3:30 left to give the Clippers a 104-103 lead. But the Lakers ended the game on a 10-4 run for their fourth straight victory.
The win snapped a six-game winning streak for the Clippers, their longest streak in 20 years. Caron Butler led the Clippers with 28 points.
Bynum had 36 points and eight rebounds, while Bryant had 31 points, six rebounds, and five rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 51.8% on the night. Ramon Sessions was magnificent for the Lakers as well with 16 points, six rebounds, and eight assists, and had a driving layup with 47.4 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a four-point lead.
Paul had 22 points and a season-high 16 assists, while Blake Griffin had 15 points, 14 rebounds and two highlight dunks for the Clippers, who shot 45.3% on the night.
The Clippers next head to Sacramento Thursday night to battle the Kings. The Lakers host Houston Friday night.
The red-hot Los Angeles Clippers host their crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night in a battle that could help decide the Pacific Division. The two teams open play on Wednesday separated by just a game in the loss column in the season's final month. Here are the relevant details of Wednesday's NBA contest.
Records: Lakers (34-20); Clippers (32-21)
Location: Staples Center, with the Clippers designated as the home team.
Time: 7:30 p.m. PDT
TV: ESPN, KCAL, and Prime Ticket; plenty of choices to watch this game.
Series History: The two clubs have split two games this season, with each team winning on their floor. The Clippers prevailed 102-94 on January 14, and the Lakers returned the favor with a 96-91 triumph on January 25. This is the third and final meeting between these two teams this season, so the winning team would hold the first tirebreaker should they end the season tied. The two teams have split their last 10 meetings with the Clippers as the home team.
Going Streaking: The Clippers have won six straight games for the first time since 1992. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1984, the only longer run was an eight-game winning streak in 1991.