Lakers lose ninth straight

LOS ANGELES — Lonzo Ball returned for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, but the losing didn’t go anywhere.

The Lakers (11-27) lost their ninth straight game, falling to the Hornets 108-94, behind a performance that saw them turn the ball over 16 times. The Hornets (15-23) made the most of those opportunities, scoring 24 points off Lakers’ miscues.

Charlotte had 15 turnovers of its own, but the Lakers only scored nine points off them.

Ball played well in his return from a shoulder injury, scoring 11 points and adding five assists and four rebounds in 27 minutes. The pace he brings to the team seemed to return in the early moments of the game, but the Lakers finished with only nine fast-break points to Charlotte’s 24.

But Ball didn’t seem to satisfied with the pace of the game.

“It wasn’t too good,” Ball said. “We didn’t win.”

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Clippers waste lead, lose

LOS ANGELES — Russell Westbrook grabbed his 13th triple-double of the season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the L.A. Clippers 127-117 on Thursday night at Staples Center.

Westbrook finished the game with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Paul George had a game-high 31 points and Carmelo Anthony added 22.

DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers with 26 points and 17 rebounds, while Blake Griffin had 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

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George helps Thunder rout Lakers

LOS ANGELES — Throughout the season, even though the Los Angeles Lakers have lost over two dozen games, the miscues have largely been competitive.

But that changed Wednesday night when they played the Oklahoma City Thunder, who trounced the Lakers 133-96. The loss pushed the losing streak to seven for Los Angeles.

Head coach Luke Walton said the loss “felt different” than other losses.

“This doesn’t sit well,” Walton said. “I think it’s more of an outlier. I don’t expect this to become the norm when we struggle. I think there’s a lot of factors that go into blowouts. We’re not supposed to do that at home on national TV with our crowd showing up and the energy that was in the building to start. We’re not supposed to let that happen.”

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Clippers set tone early

LOS ANGELES — The first quarter was all the L.A. Clippers needed to dispose of the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

The Clippers outscored the Lakers 35-22 in the first 12 minutes, and won 121-106 in a designated road game at Staples Center.

“I just thought we came out and set a tone early,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said.

Blake Griffin returned to the Clippers (15-19) after missing about four weeks with a sprained left MCL. He led the way with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists. Lou Williams scored 23 points off the bench while making 13 of 15 from the free throw line.

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Lakers hash things out in team meeting

EL SEGUNDO — The Los Angeles Lakers aired various frustrations among each other and their coaches in a team meeting Thursday that was held in lieu of a regular practice.

“I think we put it out there about how each guy was feeling about how they play on the basketball floor, how they feeling about the business of the organization, how they wanna be played or anything of that nature,” Ingram said. “Ultimately I would hope they felt free after they did it.”

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Key questions in L.A.

LOS ANGELES — “Questionable” will have different meanings to the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers when they face off tonight at Staples Center.

Blake Griffin, who has missed the last four weeks with a sprained left MCL, was upgraded to questionable for tonight’s game. He participated in shootaround on Tuesday and was seen shooting and dunking.

But the final decision of whether Griffin suits up will be one that the team makes as a whole, Griffin said.

“I haven’t any pain or anything of any of the challenges or goals they’ve set for me at any point through this whole rehab process,” Griffin said. “But as far as (today), like I said, that’ll be a decision that we make as a team.”

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Rivers hitting his stride

EL SEGUNDO — Amid a mid-November road trip, L.A. Clippers guard Austin Rivers went through a rough stretch, particularly with poor play against the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks in consecutive games.

Rivers shot just 4 of 23 and was a combined minus-36 in 33 minutes in those two games. After those subpar performances, some of his teammates and coaches told him he needed to raise his level of play.

“Last year, you proved that you were a good player in this league,” Rivers recalled being told at the time. “You gotta prove now that you are an elite guy. You gotta prove that you’re a guy that teams are like, ‘(Expletive) man, we gotta game plan, we gotta stop him.’ You have not done that yet this year.”

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