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Lakers avoid total collapse in 113-108 win over Clippers

Kobe Bryant hits a pair of key jump shots in the closing minutes and Bynum scores 36 points as the Lakers claim the season series.

April 04, 2012|By Ben Bolch
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, center, tries to dribble away from Clippers guard Nick Young, left, and forward Kenyon Martin during the first half of Wednesday's game.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, center, tries to dribble away from Clippers guard… (Paul Buck / EPA )

After the Lakers' fade came the fadeaways.

Kobe Bryant made a pair of key jumpers in the final 3 minutes 1 second Wednesday night at Staples Center, helping the Lakers avoid a complete collapse during a 113-108 victory over the Clippers.

Bryant's first jumper during the stretch run put the Lakers ahead, 105-104, after they had lost all of a 15-point, third-quarter lead. His second jumper gave the Lakers a 110-106 advantage with 24 seconds remaining.

Bryant finished with 31 points on 13-for-19 shooting and Andrew Bynum had 36 points and eight rebounds in his return from a one-game injury absence as the Lakers claimed the season series against their cross-town rivals and increased their lead over the Clippers in the Pacific Division to 2 1/2 games.

DeAndre Jordan gave the Clippers a 104-103 advantage with 3:30 remaining, their first lead since the first quarter. Bryant then responded with a fadeaway jumper to nudge the Lakers back ahead.

The Clippers had scored the first eight points of the quarter to pull within three before enduring missed three-pointers from Nick Young and Randy Foye that would have tied the score.

Caron Butler had 28 points but did not score in the fourth quarter for the Clippers. Chris Paul added 22 points and 16 assists.

Lakers 92, Clippers 81 (end of third quarter)

The Hallway Rivalry took a familiar turn in the third quarter, with the Lakers pulling away from their fellow Staples Center tenant.

Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum continued to lead the way for the Lakers. Bynum powered in for layups and Bryant made a few tough shots, including a tunaround jumper and a three-pointer that had the Lakers fans in the crowd serenading him with chants of "MVP!"

Bynum has 29 points on 11-for-17 shooting to go with eight rebounds and Bryant has 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting.

Blake Griffin had Clippers fans roaring earlier in the quarter when he took a bounce pass and went in for a one-handed dunk over Pau Gasol. Griffin nudged Gasol to the floor on the play, but the foul was called on Gasol.

DeAndre Jordan then took an alley-oop pass from Chris Paul for his second lob dunk of the game, and the Clippers were within 73-68.

The momentum had shifted in the Clippers' direction after Lakers point guard Ramon Sessions complained about a no-call after believing he was fouled on a missed layup, earning a technical foul. Paul's technical free throw started the Clippers on a 7-0 run.

Griffin and Gasol were later called for offsetting technical fouls as the intensity level continued to rise.

Caron Butler has 28 points for the Clippers, whose chances to win the season series in the rivalry for the first time in 19 years look increasingly slim.

Lakers 63, Clippers 55 (halftime)

The Lakers appear halfway to solidifying their hold on the Pacific Division lead thanks to a pair of usual suspects.

The Clippers are still hanging around because of an unlikely one.

Kobe Bryant has 18 points on eight-for-11 shooting and Andrew Bynum has 17 points on eight-for-12 shooting to lead the Lakers, who are attempting to increase their 1 1/2-game division lead over the Clippers.

The Lakers led by as many as 12 points in the quarter after Steve Blake made a three-pointer, but the Clippers fought back mainly behind continued strong play from Caron Butler. The small forward has 23 points after making eight of 13 shots, including three of four three-pointers.

No other Clipper has reached double figures in scoring.

The Lakers are shooting 56.3% to the Clippers' 43.8% and have the edge in rebounds, 24-22.

Lakers 34, Clippers 29 (end of first quarter)

Andrew Bynum was back, but it was the Laker who never left who was the big story in the early going.

Kobe Bryant had 16 first-quarter points on seven-for-10 shooting to help the Lakers take the early lead against their fellow Staples Center tenants.

Bynum, back in the starting lineup after sitting out one game because of a sprained left ankle, had 11 points, five rebounds and one embarrassingly missed dunk.

Caron Butler provided the Clippers with a steady diet of jumpers on the way to 10 first-quarter points, and Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan added six points apiece.

Griffin had the Clippers bench celebrating early when he grabbed a Randy Foye miss in midair and ferociously dunked the ball. The Clippers also had their Lob City thing going, with Jordan taking an alley-oop pass from Chris Paul for a dunk.

A Clippers victory would give them the season series against the Lakers, something they haven't won since 1992-93.

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