Today, for Christmas, the league scheduled for both L.A. teams to meet up once again. The game was neck and neck until Patrick Beverley came up with a clutch defensive play against the King. He hit the ball out of LeBron James’ hands with only 3.4 seconds left of play. The officials ultimately ruled that the ball rolled off of LeBron’s hands last, giving the Clippers possession. Pat Bev celebrated and the Clippers ultimately came up on top, 111-106.
All Clippers and Lakers suited up for tonight’s marquee matchup. The Clippers came to play and started out the game by winning tip-off. Within the first few minutes of the game, LeBron James attempted to take a charge against Beverley but instead took a knee to what looked like his groin. James went to the floor in pain but walked it off and continued on playing. With just under six minutes left in the first quarter, Kawhi Leonard drove to the hoop and made a nice pass to Beverley who was in the corner. Beverley drew a foul against Anthony Davis and succeeded. Beverley only scored one of three free throws gaining a one-point lead for the Clippers, 15-14.
Leonard was on fire to start off the night as he was the first player of the game in double figures with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Both teams went back and forth the entire quarter but the Lakers ultimately outscored the Clippers in the first, 33-31. Kyle Kuzma was especially hot as he scored 15 points coming off the bench in just five minutes of play. The Clippers finished off the half poorly as they fell short to the Lakers, 63-51. Leonard led the Clippers with 18 points and Kuzma led the Lakers with 19.
The Clippers started to pick up the pace in the third. With just under eight minutes, Leonard stole the ball and drove down the court. He made a nice pass to Zubac who scored for an and one to trail the Lakers by only seven points, 71-64. To fight back, PG scored a shot clock buzzer, then Pat Bev scored a wide open three to trail the Clippers by only two, 71-69. After going back and forth for a few minutes, Shamet finally hit a three with only seconds remaining in the third quarter to tie the game before the fourth, 86-86.
The Lakers finally started to catch some heat in the fourth. Both teams were scoring until the Lakers started draining buckets. LeBron hit a three and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a three right after, giving the Lakers a six-point lead, 96-90. The Lakers were alive in the fourth as they continued to score with LeBron tallying 10 of the Lakers first 15 fourth quarter points. The Clippers started to pick up the pace and with 5:41 left of play, Leonard hit a three over Howard to tie the game, 101-101. Clippers finally gained a lead with just under four minutes of play, 105-103. The Clippers came up on top, 111-106. Leonard led the Clippers with 35 points, five assists and 12 rebounds. Kuzma led the Lakers with 25 points and four boards.