LOS ANGELES – Anthony Davis stole an inbound pass, launched a quick shot and fell onto Kevin Hart as the Lakers entered halftime on a run. Davis stayed atop Hart like a (big) kid sitting on Santa’s lap. LeBron James came over and also plopped onto Hart, creating quite the boisterous scene.
But it was the Clippers who got their Christmas wish granted with a 111-106 win over the Lakers on Monday. Trailing by 12 after the second quarter, the Clippers made the largest halftime comeback on Christmas since 2003 (when the Mavericks erased a 16-point deficit to beat the Kings).
Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished five assists. A noted Lakers foil, Beverley helped seal the game by blocking LeBron’s game-tying 3-point attempt in the final seconds. Beverley flexed, urged the pro-Lakers crowd to its feet then enthusiastically called for a review, which showed the ball went off LeBron. Beverley pranced around the court as the Clippers got the ball.
“That’s why I love him,” Leonard said. “He’s running around like he got 50 points.”
This was a rematch of a highly anticipated opening night and maybe, if NBA fans get their wish, a playoff series.
The Lakers are now 0-3 against the teams with the next-best championship odds – Clippers (0-2), Bucks (0-1), 76ers (0-0), Rockets (0-0) – and 24-4 against everyone else.
“It’s December 25th,” said LeBron, who had 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. “We’ve got a long way to go until we even think about trying to compete against anyone in a seven-game series.”
Beverley is looking forward to a shorter trip.
He said his mom fooled him, saying she missed her flight yesterday. When he got home from practice, she was in the kitchen cooking.
“I’m about to head out to her right now,” Beverley said. “Y’all take it easy.”