Well, that didn’t go according to plan. The Los Angeles Lakers received their rings before the game, as the night started off so well. Then the Los Angeles Clippers happened, as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George buried the Lakers late as they won 116-109.
Since trailing 39-17 at the 1:57 mark of the first quarter, the Lakers have outscored the Clippers 37-17.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) December 23, 2020
The Lakers weathered a storm to start the game, with the Clippers lead remaining under 10 heading into the 4th after the Lakers had kept it within possessions going back to the end of the 2nd. However, the Clippers’ superstar duo caught fire in the final frame putting it out of reach.
Player(s) of the game – Dennis Schröder and Monterzl Harrell
Yeah, we’re cheating and doing co-players of the game IN THE FIRST GAME. So what?
The two helped out on a couple of the Lakers’ many runs Tuesday evening, scoring 28 of the Lakers points. Schröder ended with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists, while Harrell ended with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The two showed the offensive spark they can provide to take some work off LeBron and Davis’ hands, which was needed early on as LeBron started off somewhat slow. The two also seemed to work well together, connecting on some passes here and there.
Stat of the game – 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 5 fouls, 1 turnover
That was, unfortunately, the stat line for Marc Gasol against the Clippers as the big man incurred fouls early in the first half, ending up with his 5th foul in the early moments of the 3rd quarter. He was already struggling in the few minutes he could stay on the court, but still, it’s one thing to be playing poorly and it’s one thing to be forced out of the rotation entirely.
Look for the starting big man to bounce back on Christmas.
Additional stat of the game – Rings
17 championships to 0 championships.
Quote of the night – “I’m disappointed in myself, I didn’t put the ball in his hands more at the top of the key”
These were the words of Frank Vogel after tonight’s game, as he was commenting on his use of Marc Gasol. Vogel took ownership for the evening that led to the stat line above, still having confidence that his starting center will be a big part of this team moving forward (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll).
Vogel says that Marc Gasol will be "fine" and took some of the blame for an underwhelming night.
"I'm disappointed in myself, I didn't put the ball in his hands more at the top of the key."
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) December 23, 2020
The Lakers will get a few days to rest and practice together more, as they won’t play again until Christmas Day on Friday. They’ll be facing Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks who will open their season tomorrow night against Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns. The game should be entertaining as the Mavs and Lakers’ first game was last year, with three potential MVP candidates in Luka, LeBron, and Davis.
Looking for a rebound on Christmas!