Luke Walton gave the Lakers Christmas Eve off.
The Clippers took the third quarter of their Christmas Day off.
Playing with an umatched enthusiasm, the Lakers surged to a 13-0 run after halftime and added a 9-0 run later in the third period to beat the Clippers, 111-102.
Chris Paul missed the game with a hamstring injury after planning earlier in the day to play, and Blake Griffin was also out. The Clippers fall to 2-8 without neither Paul nor Griffin, including a pair of losses to the Trail Blazers in last year’s playoffs, since trading for Paul in 2011. Heck, the Clippers even lost tonight’s leading scorer – J.J. Redick, whose 22 points matched Jamal Crawford‘s – to a sore hamstring in the third quarter.
But the Lakers surely won’t complain about any win at this stage. The victory snapped multiple losing streaks:
- Four straight and 12 of 13 overall
- 11 straight and 15 of 16 against the Clippers
- Three straight and six of seven on Christmas
The Lakers’ veterans sealed the deal. Timofey Mozgov (19 points on 8-of-11 shooting) was a formidable threat from mid-range. Nick Young (19 points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting) got hot from beyond the arc. Luol Deng (13 points and 12 rebounds, five offensive) was unstoppable on the offensive glass when matched up with perimeter players.