“That’s progress for us.” The Clippers transform difficulties into advantages in a promising victory against the Lakers.

It was in late December when Paul George, the Clippers’ star player, analyzed the reasons for their failure to maintain a 20-point lead in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers in an empty locker room. The team had played an impressive first half of the season, but their performance had deteriorated in the second half, with poor shot selection, defensive shortcomings, and a failure to close out the game.

Clippers turn struggles into strengths in win over Lakers - Los Angeles  Times

Fast forward one month later, and George and the Clippers faced the Lakers in a game where they had an impressive first half, with 77 points, 15 three-pointers, and a 23-point lead. However, as the fourth quarter began, the lead had been reduced to 10 points, and the Lakers’ star player, LeBron James, was on a scoring streak.

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The Clippers regrouped during a timeout and decided to continue pushing the pace and getting defensive stops. This strategy worked, and they successfully stopped the Lakers’ comeback, winning 133-115. This marked their 10th consecutive victory against the Lakers under coach Tyronn Lue, and moved them closer to realizing their full potential.

Clippers turn struggles into strengths in win over Lakers - Los Angeles  Times

George stated that this was a step in the right direction for the team, and that they are building something good, but they need to stay healthy to continue their progress. The team also noted that they had turned their weaknesses into strengths, specifically in their defense and shot selection. Additionally, a key player in this victory was Reggie Jackson, who had recently been out of the rotation but delivered a crucial shot during the game.

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Finally, during a crucial moment in the game, George intercepted a pass by Dennis Schroder, leading to a layup and foul by Leonard, increasing the lead to 13 points and securing the win for the Clippers.

Los Angeles Lakers vs LA Clippers Feb 3, 2022 Game Summary | NBA.com

Despite the win, the game was not without moments that could have allowed the Lakers to make a comeback. On one particular possession, Leonard and Jackson failed to effectively defend James on a switch, leaving him open for a three-pointer. However, his shot missed, and George was able to grab the rebound, ending the possession – something the Clippers have had difficulty doing consistently in the past.
Los Angeles Lakers vs LA Clippers Feb 3, 2022 Game Summary | NBA.com

However, on the next possession, George lost control of the ball and it went out of bounds. But the Clippers were able to retain possession and George made a precise, cross-court pass to assist Jackson in making a three-pointer. This increased their lead to 16 points.

Los Angeles Lakers vs LA Clippers Feb 3, 2022 Game Summary | NBA.com
Finally, after Westbrook lost his dribble again resulting in another turnover, Leonard quickly grabbed the loose ball and outran Schroder for a dunk, forcing Lakers coach Darvin Ham to take out his starting players with 5 minutes left in the game, signaling defeat for the Lakers. The lead was 18 points by that time. At the end of the game, Lue was seen laughing with a fan sitting near the team’s bench, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who is known for delivering knockout blows.
Los Angeles Lakers vs LA Clippers Feb 3, 2022 Game Summary | NBA.com
“We still have a long way to go,” Lue said, referring to the team’s development, particularly George’s role as point guard, and figuring out what plays to run when teams apply pressure. Despite this, he acknowledged the team’s progress in certain areas, such as defense and offense, by scoring 133 points and getting both George and Leonard into a rhythm, which is what the team envisioned for the season. He added, “We’re not there yet, but I love our progress.”
Clippers find their groove in win over Lakers - Los Angeles Times
“I love the work that the guys are putting in during practices and we’re trying to stick to the program until we reach our goals,” Lue said. “But at the moment, I think we’re doing a good job of trending upwards.”
During the critical 1:39 of the game, the lineup on the floor featured Leonard, George, and reserve player Norman Powell – the trio that the team’s management had hoped would be successful together when they acquired Powell and Robert Covington 11 months ago. However, injuries have limited the amount of time this group has played together. But on Tuesday, the Powell-Leonard-George combination outscored the Lakers by 10 points in almost 11 minutes of playing time together. Leonard scored 25 points and Powell added 22 points as a substitute player.
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During their three-game winning streak, the three wing players Leonard, George, and Powell have been shooting very well. They made 61% of their field goals, 53% of their three-pointers and 97% of their free throws. Powell stated that “Both of them [Leonard and George] draw so much attention from the defense, it’s just playing off them to be an outlet and finish on the opposite end of the floor.”
Jackson was an unexpected member of the lineup that secured the win, as he had lost his starting spot almost three weeks earlier, and his playing time had only recently become consistent again due to an abdominal injury sidelining backup guard John Wall. George, who is one of Jackson’s close friends, said the sudden change in role “was weighing on him a little bit”.
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The three-pointer Jackson made with George’s assist gave him 19 points in 26 minutes, his most points since December 27th and most minutes played since January 2nd. When the Lakers called a timeout after the 8-0 Clippers run with 5:07 left, teammate Terance Mann celebrated with Jackson and flexed inches away from his goggles-covered eyes.
The Clippers, led by their star wing Paul George, turned their struggles into strengths in a promising win over the Lakers. Despite blowing a 20-point lead in Philadelphia in December, the team was able to hold on to a lead in the fourth quarter against the Lakers and secure a 133-115 win. The win marked their 10th consecutive victory against the Lakers under coach Tyronn Lue and pushed them closer to realizing their top-end potential. Lue acknowledged that the team still has a long way to go, but praised their progress and credited Jackson’s ball handling and Powell and Leonard’s scoring for pushing the team to victory.
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It seems that the Clippers have recently had a strong performance in their games, with a three-game win streak. The team’s coach, Lue, acknowledged that they still have a long way to go, but they are trending upwards. The lineup that closed out their latest win featured Leonard, George, and Powell, who had been limited by injuries but performed well together. The team’s point guard, Jackson, had a strong performance, handling pressure well and having fun playing the game. His teammates and coach were happy with his performance.

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