J.J. Redick added 19 points for the Clippers, who moved within a game of the idle Jazz for the No. 4 playoff seed in the West. The Clippers have won three in a row and seven of nine.
The series between the Staples Center co-tenants has been dominated by the Clippers of late. They’ve won 18 of 20 since the start of the 2012-13 season.
Rookie David Nwaba scored 19 points and Brandon Ingram had 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter for the Lakers. They have lost 18 of 20 since the All-Star break. D'Angelo Russell, the team’s leading scorer at 15.7 points, had two points on 1-of-9 shooting while missing six 3-point attempts.
The Clippers allowed the Lakers to hang around in the fourth, forcing all their starters back in after they led by 21 points at the start. Tarik Black‘s dunk cut the Lakers’ deficit to eight with 2:52 to play.
But Griffin and Paul combined to score the Clippers’ final seven points.
The Lakers scored the first nine points of the fourth to trail 93-81. Nwaba scored four in a row and Ingram had the next five points. The action bogged down while three plays were reviewed.
The Clippers dominated the third, turning a five-point lead into a 21-point advantage. They opened on a 24-9 run, including 10 by Paul that extended their lead to 79-59. Griffin and Redick added back-to-back 3-pointers and Paul scored four in a row to send the Clippers into the fourth leading 93-72.
Paul had 12 assists and made all 10 of his free throws, and DeAndre Jordan grabbed 12 rebounds.
The Lakers took their only lead of the game early in the second before the Clippers outscored them 24-19 to go into halftime leading 55-50.
The Clippers opened the game by scoring 17 straight points, making 7 of 9 field goals. The Lakers missed their first nine shots before going on an 18-2 run to close within one.
Lakers: They have used 23 different starting lineups this season with no player starting every game. … G Jordan Clarkson is the only player to appear in every game. … Ingram returned after missing three games with right patellar tendinitis. … C Ivica Zubac is out for the rest of the season with a high right ankle sprain.
Clippers: Backup G Austin Rivers is likely out for the rest of the regular season with a strained left hamstring.
Griffin scored the game’s first basket on a jumper, giving him 10,000 points in his career. He is the second player in franchise history to reach that mark. Randy Smith scored 10,467 of his club-record 12,735 points when the team was known as the Buffalo Braves.
Rivers became the 15th coach in NBA history with 800 victories. Only Gregg Popovich of San Antonio (1,146) has more among active coaches.
“What I’ve learned most as a coach is persistence and patience,” Rivers said before the game. “Patience with the players and myself. As a young coach you have a tendency to overreact to everything and change everything. I’ve learned not to sweat everything.”
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