Clippers send Lakers a clear message

LOS ANGELES – Tuesday was a night of messages for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Clippers sent the message that they were the vastly superior team, beating their hallway rivals 133-109 after making 15 3-pointers and leading by as many as 37 points.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton sent his team a message to start the second half by benching all five starters after they gave up 70 points to the Clippers and trailed by 30 after only 24 minutes of play.

“The most important (message) was that playing without a certain amount of effort isn’t gonna be acceptable or tolerated,” Walton said after the game.

Walton said the team originally had a day off scheduled today because it doesn’t play until Friday. But he said the team will practice after all because he wants to “reinforce that message.”

“We’re gonna keep sending that message until it sinks in,” Walton said.

Chris Paul led the way with 27 points, while JJ Redick had 24 and Austin Rivers added 18. Brandon Ingram had another strong outing with 21 points, while Julius Randle had 19 and D’Angelo Russell had 18.

The Clippers started the game with a 7-0 run in the first minute and 48 seconds of play. Lakers center Ivica Zubac made a floater in the lane for the team’s first basket, but the Clippers scored twice after that, leading the Lakers to take a timeout trailing 11-2 with 8:46 left in the first quarter.

The Lakers made back-to-back baskets to trim their deficit to 17-8, but Clippers forward Blake Griffin made an open 3-pointer from the left wing to give the Clippers a 20-8 lead.

Zubac got dunks as a result of some nifty plays by the Lakers. Russell came off a screen and whipped the ball to Jordan Clarkson, who then found a diving Zubac for a dunk.

A couple of possessions later, Randle drove to the basket and handed the ball off to Zubac under the basket for another dunk, but the Lakers still trailed 27-16.

After staring the game shooting 1 of 5, the Lakers made nine of their next 13 shots, which helped them cut their deficit to seven. Austin Rivers made a floater on the right baseline to give the Clippers a 33-24 lead going into the second quarter.

The Clippers started the second quarter with seven straight points, including a 5-0 spurt by Jamal Crawford that included a 30-foot 3-pointer he launched after their offensive possession was going nowhere.

Rivers went one-on-one and made a 3-pointer that gave the Clippers a 47-27 lead with less than 8 minutes left in the half. A one-handed dunk from outside the paint by DeAndre Jordan gave the Clippers a 65-35 lead with less than 2 minutes left in the half.

The Lakers went on a 5-2 run, but Paul made a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, and the Clippers led 70-40.

The Lakers didn’t make much headway in the second half. The Clippers led by as many as 37, while the Lakers never led.

Another bright spot for the Lakers turned out to be Thomas Robinson, who had 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the third quarter alone. Robinson’s 16 points was a season high.

The Lakers as a team scored just 16 in the entire second quarter.

NOTES: Paul averaged 20 points and 11.3 assists per game against the Lakers coming into Tuesday. He scored 27… The Clippers have now won 17 of their last 19 games against the Lakers.

3’S A CHARM: The Clippers shot a blistering 15 for 32 from the 3-point line, while the Lakers shot only 4 of 17. Three Clippers players made at least three shots from beyond the arc.

UP NEXT

Lakers: Host Minnesota on Friday.

Clippers: On the road against Dallas on Thursday.

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