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Darius Morris makes half-court shot against Clippers

January 15, 2012 |  8:55 am

With one double dribble drive, Clippers guard Chris Paul quickly gave Lakers' rookie Darius Morris a Welcome to the NBA moment.

Paul threw Morris off-balance, drove right and then banked in a shot that drew an And1. "Talk about a rookie getting baptized," as Lakers Coach Mike Brown would say after the Lakers' 102-94 loss Saturday to the Clippers. But just like Morris' insistence to wave off Pau Gasol's doubling so he could take Paul one-on-one, the Lakers' rookie showed how he hardly lacked for confidence.

Morris answered on the next possession by making in a 50-foot halfcourt shot to mark the end of the first quarter.

"I could stand here and lie to you and say I practiced on my 50-footers," Morris joked afterwards.

But in reality it shows Morris strong sense of confidence. His seven points on two of three shooting, inconsistent passing and general inexperience showed he has a long ways to go before becoming a reliable backup point guard while Steve Blake nurses a rib/sternum injury for three weeks. After all, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant hardly wanted to talk up his performance, saying, "Darius can't guard [Paul]." Still Bryant credited Morris because "he competed and didn't back down."

And that included not feeling rattled after Paul took him to school. That mindset paid off in nailing a near impossible shot from halfcourt.

"I just knew I needed to get the ball up with seconds running down," Morris said. "You just want to give your team an opportunity. I tried to go right back at him and shoot it."


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--Mark Medina

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