This offseason was one for the books. With all the trades and team moves that took place this year, none are more exciting than the new additions to the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers. This offseason, the Clippers signed defending champion and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and traded a record number of draft picks for Paul George. This move put the Clippers as favorites to win it all as they have two great defenders and scorers at the head with a bunch of other great defensive players behind them.
As for their rival, the Lakers, they hired Frank Vogel as head coach for the team with Jason Kidd as his assistant. On the court, the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to pair with three-time champion LeBron James. In return, the Pelicans received Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks. They also added Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley, DeMarcus Cousins, Jared Dudley, and Danny Green.
As the season starts, the Lakers and the Clippers will battle tonight for the upper hand in this season matchup. This game will mark the first of four meetings between these two ball clubs this season. Last year, they split the season series at two apiece. Overall, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers met a total of 220 times with the Lakers winning 148 games and the Clippers grabbing 72.
Los Angeles Lakers:
-Kostas Antetokounmpo (coach’s decision)
-Alex Caruso (coach’s decision)
-Zach Norvell (coach’s decision)
-Kyle Kuzma (ankle)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (foot)
-Rajon Rondo (calf)
-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)
Los Angeles Clippers:
-Mfiondu Kabengele (coach’s decision)
-Terance Mann (coach’s decision)
-Johnathan Motley (coach’s decision)
-Jerome Robinson (coach’s decision)
-Amir Coffey (ankle)
-Paul George (rehab)
-Rodney McGruder (ankle)
The Los Angeles Clippers would have the upper hand in the majority of the first half as they shot fifty-seven percent from the field, keeping the Los Angeles Lakers at forty-six percent. Kawhi Leonard got hot for 20 points as he hit eight of his eleven shots attempted. He had a three-pointer early in the second quarter as he collected three rebounds and gave out three assists.
Former Philadelphia 76ers’ guard Landry Shamet helped out with five points which included a three-pointer in the second period. Patrick Beverley was held to just two points but was able to record seven rebounds, three assists, and one block. Three-time Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams contributed with 13 points off of the bench.
On the other end of the court, Anthony Davis chalked up eighteen points on forty-five percent shooting. He also grabbed four rebounds, threw out two assists, committed one steal, and blocked one shot. LeBron James helped out with 14 points which held a three-pointer in the second quarter. He also had four rebounds, four assists, and one steal.
Washington-native Avery Bradley had five points, missing only one of his three shots attempted. Two-time NBA champion Danny Green had a three-pointer at the beginning of the game while JaVale McGee had just two points. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was held scoreless as he played the most minutes off the bench while the Clippers went into halftime with a 62 to 54 advantage.
The Clippers would still impress in the second half as they shot forty-six percent from the field while the Lakers shot forty-one percent. Leonard added 10 more points to his scoring total but only shot twenty-five percent from the field. Leonard also recorded three more rebounds, two more assists, and two steals while Williams helped out with eight points. Montrezl Harrell played eighteen minutes off of the bench as he had twelve points.
As for the Lakers, Danny Green got extremely hot for twenty-five points as he missed only one shot out of the ten taken. He also had six three-pointers and four rebounds. Anthony Davis and LeBron James disappeared in the second half as they went for a combined eleven points. Caldwell-Pope was still held scoreless off of the bench as the Los Angeles Clippers spoiled Davis’ Laker debut, 112-102. Kawhi Leonard finished the game with 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Danny Green had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and one block.
The Los Angeles Clippers will battle Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. at the new Chase Center. The Los Angeles Lakers will host Mike Conley and the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center on Friday at 10:30 p.m.