The LA Lakers overcame the LA Clippers 103-101 on the back of a clutch play from LeBron James and a dominant performance from Anthony Davis. AD finished the night with 34 points and 8 rebounds while LeBron had 16 points, 7 assists, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks. The likes of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George had 28-point and 30-point outings respectively in what was an exhilarating back-and-forth affair.
Several NBA players were in attendance for the showdown between the LA Lakers and the LA Clippers. The likes of Damian Lillard, DeMar DeRozan, and others were seen sitting by the courtside prior to the tipoff.
The game held much more importance than just being the headliner of Day 1 of the NBA restart. It provided the likes of LeBron James and other NBA superstars to join arms in solidarity for Black Lives Matter and all the players took the knee during the national anthem.
LA Lakers start out strong
JaVale McGee got the first bucket of the game and the LA Lakers looked like the better team out of the gates. The LA Clippers continued to get to the free-throw line but missed several shots with the Purple and Gold rushing to a 33-20 lead towards the end of the first quarter.
Kawhi Leonard finally found his mojo and led the LA Clippers' resurgence. He scored 11 out of the first 17 points for his side in the second quarter. It eventually became a scoring contest between him and Anthony Davis, with the latter taking 14 free throws in the first half. The LA Clippers managed to reduce the gap to just two points with the score reading 54-52 at half-time.
LA Clippers take the lead
Strict officiating was on display throughout the game but was highlighted more so by the fact that six fouls were called in the first two minutes of the third quarter.
The LA Clippers took charge post that, thanks to three consecutive threes from Paul George. Leonard dropped a trey himself and the LA Lakers found themselves trailing by 11.
It became a shooting contest post with both franchises draining triple after triple. The LA Lakers turned out to be 14th time lucky and finally managed to get a field goal to fall in over six minutes with a LeBron James triple. AD got hot and knocked down two back to back treys himself.
At the end of the third quarter, the LA Clippers led the LA Lakers 77-76 which was good reading for Doc Rivers' side who had already recorded 19 turnovers till that point!
Final quarter mayhem
The LA Lakers got their groove again the final quarter and went on a 15-3 run thanks to buckets from LeBron James, Dion Waiters, Kyle Kuzma, and Danny Green. LeBron had been struggling till then, only being 4 of 14 from the field as the Lakers led 91-80.
The LA Clippers rallied back yet again thanks to buckets from PG13 and Patrick Beverley, with the latter looking extremely energetic. Paul George and AD led the lines for their respective franchises. As the scoreline read 101-98 in favor of the LA Lakers, George dropped a trey to tie the game for the LA Clippers with 26 seconds left on the clock.
That's when King James rose to the occasion. He first got the rebound of his missed shot in the next possession to get the putback layup, which gave the LA Lakers the lead. He then played terrific defense in the final 12 seconds first on Kawhi and then on George to contain the LA Clippers' star duo as the Purple and Gold won the game 103-101. Let us have a look at the best reactions from the game:
Published 31 Jul 2020, 10:26 IST