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(Thursday, February 14th)
Final Score: LA Clippers 125, LA Lakers 101
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Blake Griffin got the Clippers off to a fast start and the "other franchise" in Los Angeles drained 16 3-pointers in a resounding 125-101 wire-to-wire victory over the rival Lakers at Staples Center.
The lopsided win clinched the season series for the Clippers for just the third time in franchise history and first since the 1992-93 campaign. They have won the first three meetings and head into the All-Star break atop the Pacific Division -- 13 games ahead of the 16-time NBA champions.
Griffin scored 18 of his 22 points in the first quarter, while Chris Paul chipped in 24 points and 13 assists in the club's fourth straight win. Chauncey Billups accounted for five 3-pointers in a 21-point effort.
"We jumped on them early and I like the way we finished," Griffin said. "The main thing tonight was our defense. We stuck to our game plan."
Kobe Bryant, coming off a four-point showing in a win over the Suns on Tuesday, totaled 20 points and 11 assists, while Dwight Howard and Antawn Jamison checked in with 18 and 17 points, respectively, in defeat.
Lakers owner Jerry Buss is reportedly at a local hospital battling cancer, and his team did little to boost his spirits.
The Clippers, one day after scoring 46 points in the opening quarter in a win over the Rockets, again started strong, as Griffin scored the game's first 10 points and added a 19-foot jumper five minutes in for a 15-0 lead.
A Matt Barnes 3-pointer gave the Clippers a 31-15 late in the opening quarter, but Jamison sparked a short-lived comeback by scoring eight points on a 10-0 run that spanned into the second.
The Lakers were within one possession on several occasions, the last coming when Jamison's triple pulled them within 50-47 with 2:34 left in the half.
The Clippers answered with 11 consecutive points in 83 seconds. Billups connected on back-to-back baskets, then followed a Paul 3-pointer with one of his own to cap the back-breaking run.
It was 64-52 at the break, and the Clippers made three from long range in the first 1:42 of the second half in extending their lead to 73-54.
Paul finished his 10-point third quarter with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for a 101-80 cushion, and the outcome was never in doubt in the fourth.
"Our start was bad and they shot the ball very well," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni admitted. "Their 3-pointers put us in a hole. When we play out of desperation, we don't play very smart."
Each team has two starters in Sunday's All-Star Game (Paul, Griffin, Bryant and Howard) ... Griffin also pulled down 10 rebounds ... DeAndre Jordan also had a double-double for the Clippers with 11 points and 12 boards ... The only time the Clippers won the season series other than 1992-93 was in the 1974-75 season when they were the Buffalo Braves ... The Lakers' Steve Nash had seven points and five assists and reached 17,000 points for his career.
02/15 02:13:04 ET
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