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The NBA’s battle for Los Angeles went to the Clippers on Saturday, as they knocked off the Lakers by a final score of 113-97 to earn their sixth straight victory.

The Clippers had no problems controlling the Lakers, carrying a 58-39 lead into halftime and going on cruise control in the second half to remain within shouting distance of the Golden State Warriors in the Pacific Division.

DeAndre Jordan created a lot of problems for the Lakers on Saturday. The star center had a double-double by the end of the first half and finished with 24 points, 21 rebounds and this terrific highlight with an assist from Chris Paul, via the Clippers:

The Clippers pointed out that Jordan’s latest 20-20 game was one for the record books:

The size difference between the Clippers and Lakers was apparent throughout the game, including on this block from Marreese Speights that led to an easy transition basket for Brandon Bass, via NBA.com:

There’s also the rather large disparity in overall talent between these two teams. The Lakers are showing signs of improvement this season, needing just two more wins to match their total from all of last season, but it’s still a franchise rebuilding itself. 

One bright spot for the Lakers was the performance of rookie Brandon Ingram. The No. 2 pick in June’s draft has had a rough start to his career, but he’s starting to come around. He came in averaging just 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 37.3 percent. 

Ingram finished with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting with five rebounds and five assists. The former Duke star has reached double figures in scoring five times in the last six games and has shot 55.5 percent during that span. 

Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers’ other young cornerstones, were not as successful. They combined for nine points and five turnovers in 56 minutes, and Randle left in the third quarter after stepping on Nick Young’s foot, via NBA.com.

The Lakers are still learning to play as a cohesive unit, with games against top-tier competition providing a good litmus test for how much work remains to be done. 

In a light moment before the game, Lakers head coach Luke Walton showed off his sense of humor in an interaction with Young, per Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus:

On the other hand, the Clippers still have designs on doing big things this season. Their high-powered offense came out of the gate strong with 26 points in the first quarter and never let up.

In addition to Jordan’s offensive muscle, Paul, Austin Rivers, J.J. Redick and Raymond Felton all scored at least 10 points.

Paul, who added 13 assists, now has three double-doubles in four games. 

The Clippers, who are seven games behind the Warriors, have put things back together after losing six straight games.

They are still looking up at the Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets in the Western Conference, but head coach Doc Rivers has his team firing on all cylinders, and Blake Griffin is set to return in the near future. 

Things are looking good for the Clippers heading into the season’s second half.

                   

Postgame Reaction

Jordan discussed his stellar game after the win. 

“I see myself getting better throughout the season, but a lot of it is effort, going after balls,” he said, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

Despite the Clippers’ recent run of success, Paul pointed out one big missing link that will help them get better very soon.

“This isn’t our team. We’re still missing 32,” Paul said, per the AP. “That’s our singular focus, keep winning games.”



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