10 Things to Know: Lakers vs. Clippers (3/21/17)

1 Los Angeles

Los Angeles News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

Here is what you need to know before the Lakers take on their fellow Staples Center tenants, the LA Clippers.

D’Angelo Russell is looking to build off of the hottest nights of his career, as he went off for 40 points against the defending-champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. The 21-year-old shot 14-of-22 from the field — including seven 3-pointers — while becoming the youngest 40-point scorer in team history. For good measure, he also added six assists and just one turnover in his very first start at shooting guard.

That night also saw Russell become the youngest player in NBA history to hit seven triples in three separate games. Russell — who is averaging nearly three 3-pointers per contest — also knocked down seven against Brooklyn this year, having dropped eight on the Nets last season in the game that started his “ice in my veins” celebration.

Russell is far from the only Laker who has heated up lately, as four of Los Angeles’ five starters tallied their career-high in scoring over the past week. Jordan Clarkson got it started with 30 points off the bench on March 12, while Ivica Zubac followed the day after by putting up 25 points and 11 rebounds. Then Julius Randle went off for 32 points last Wednesday before Russell’s performance Sunday.

The season series between the Los Angeles teams is currently even after the Lakers won on Christmas Day, while the Clippers took revenge three weeks later. A win in this game would guarantee that the Lakers end a streak of four straight series losses to their intracity foes.

5) That task will not be easy with the way Chris Paul directs his team. This season may have ended a streak of nine straight All-Star selections for Paul, but the 31-year-old is still one of the best point guards in the game, ranking second in the NBA in steals (2.0) and fourth in assists (9.3). Paul can also get it done himself with his patented jumper, as he scores the second-most points on pull-up shots (9.8).

This will be the first time the Lakers face Blake Griffin this year, as he was hurt during the initial two meetings. Griffin went off for 30 points in Monday’s win over New York, and he places second among big men in assists (5.0).

[embedded content]

Down low, the Clippers call upon DeAndre Jordan, who racks up the NBA’s third most rebounds (13.5) and eighth-most blocks (1.7). He never strays far from the hoop offensively and is shooting 70.4 percent from the field, which leads the league.

The combination of Paul, Griffin and Jordan has resulted in a devastating pick-and-roll game for the Clippers. In particular, the bigs have feasted on the opportunities bestowed by Paul, as the Clippers average the NBA’s second most points from roll men (9.9).

9) Still, the Clippers also have some firepower on the perimeter. Paul is averaging career-highs in 3-point percentage (41.5) and 3-pointers (2.1), while J.J. Redick has hit at least one triple in 20 straight games. Plus, reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford ranks fifth in league history with 2,031 career 3-pointers.

The Clippers trot out a veteran squad, which features six players with at least 10 years of NBA experience. The elder statesman of this crew is longtime adversary Paul Pierce, who is averaging only 3.9 points on 39.6 percent shooting in his final season.

Injury Report
Larry Nance Jr. (right wrist sprain) is probable.
Clippers: Diamond Stone (left knee bone bruise) is out.

Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW

Click here to view game notes for this contest.

1 Los Angeles

Los Angeles News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

Leave a Reply