Lakers vs Clippers: Kobe Bryant, Lakers roll over Clippers
Lakers 108, Clippers 95 (final)
For the Lakers, the biggest moment of the game Friday night came when Kobe Bryant bruised his right elbow in the second quarter and went to the locker room before the half was over.
Bryant came out and scored 18 of his 24 points in the third quarter and then rested in the fourth.
He wasn't needed because the Lakers led by 18 points at the end of the third.
Bryant was 10-for-16 shooting from the field and he had five assists. He did most of his work in the third quarter wearing a purple sleeve on his right arm.
Pau Gasol had 22 points on eight-for-nine shooting in the win.
Blake Griffin had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers.
The Lakers have won three consecutive games, looking nothing like the team that lost three games in a row before the All-Star break.
Lakers 85, Clippers 67 (end of third quarter)
The report after halftime was that Kobe Bryant had bruised the ulnar nerve of his right elbow.
That was the report.
But one couldn't tell by the way Bryant shot the ball in the third quarter.
Bryant also stole a pass just as the third quarter was winding down and dunked with his left hand, but the basket came after the buzzer had sounded.
Lakers 52, Clippers 50 (end of first half)
Kobe Bryant bruised the ulnar nerve of his right elbow late in the second quarter.
Bryant came out and shot after halftime and started the third quarter wearing a purple sleeve on his right arm.
Bryant asked to come out of the game with 3:03 left in the second quarter after he was called for fouling Randy Foye, who was shooting a three-pointer.
Bryant walked off the court, but he sat on the bench and flexed his right elbow and wiggled his right index finger. With 2:04 left in the second quarter, he went to the locker room.
Even wtih Bryant out, the Lakers kept up their defensive pressure, holding the Clippers to 19 points in the second quarter after giving up 31 in the first.
Well, the Lakers looked good on defense until the end, when they allowed DeAndre Jordan to score on a drive from half court at the buzzer.
Andrew Bynum played a role in the Lakers playing better defense in the second quarter, blocking a dunk attempt by Jordan.
Clippers 31, Lakers 30 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers didn't play much defense in the first quarter, allowing the Clippers to make 52.4% of their shots including 71% (five for seven) on three-pointers.
The Lakers made 61% of their shots and still trailed.
Randy Foye had just made back-to-back three-pointers on Kobe Bryant when the Lakers decided to back the Clippers guard down low.
Bryant was able to draw a foul on Foye. But Bryant, still upset about something, was given a technical foul, even though he had a foul called in his favor.
Bryant now has 11 technical fouls. If a player gets 16 technicals, he is suspended for one game and fined $5,000.
Foye had 14 points on four-for-five shooting in the first, all of them three-pointers.
The Lakers are 1-1 against the Clippers this season, winning the first game on a last-second shot by Derek Fisher.
Even though both games were Clippers' home games at Staples Center, the Lakers found out that their crosstown rivals can be a tough foe.
Before the Lakers played the Clippers on Friday night at Staples Center in a home game, Coach Phil Jackson was asked what concerned him about the matchup.
"I'm not concerned, that's all," Jackson said. "It's just not where I'm at, being concerned. I'm looking forward to the game. I'm not concerned about it."
The Lakers will see a different Clippers team this time.
The Clippers traded point guard Baron Davis to the Cleveland Cavaliers for point guard Mo Williams and forward Jamario Moon. Neither player suited up Friday night.
Also, Clippers guard Eric Gordon won't play because of a sprained right wrist.
The Lakers have won two consecutive games since last weekend's All-Star break.
But the Lakers also lost three consecutive games before the break, including one in Cleveland.
Jackson is not sure where his team stands.
"It's just a one-game-at-a-time with this team," Jackson said. "We'd love to gain momentum and have a seven-game winning streak, a 10-game winning streak, or something. But we are just not that consistent yet."
Kobe Bryant entered the game 34 points shy of passing Elvin Hayes (27,313 points) for seventh place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
-- Broderick Turner
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks to drive against Clippers guard Randy Foye in the first half Friday night at Staples Center. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire