Clippers forward Matt Barnes loses his balance as Lakers guard Kobe Bryant… (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles…)
Clippers 109, Lakers 95 (end of regulation)
The Clippers completed their first season series sweep of the Lakers since owner Donald Sterling purchased the team with a 109-95 victory Sunday at Staples Center. With the win, the Clippers clinched the Pacific Division title.
The Lakers lost all four quarters as the Clippers shot 50% from the field. The Clippers also dominated the boards, 50-36, including a 16-10 advantage on the offensive glass.
Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard led all scorers with 25 points apiece but Bryant shot only 6-of-19 from the field. He dished 10 assists and was just three rebounds short of a triple-double in the defeat.
BOX SCORE: Clippers 109, Lakers 95
The Clippers got 24 points from both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Each had double-doubles with 12 assists from Paul and 12 rebounds from Griffin. DeAndre Jordan had 13 rebounds to match Pau Gasol.
Jamal Crawford scored 20 points off the bench.
The Lakers got 12 points from Gasol, who was two assists short of a triple-double.
The Lakers fall to 40-37, back into ninth place with the eighth-place Utah Jazz visiting the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.
The Clippers improve to 51-26.
Clippers 82, Lakers 70 (end of third quarter)
The Clippers won their third straight quarter Sunday against the Lakers, extending their lead from seven to 14 points before the Lakers narrowed the gap to 12 heading into the fourth.
Dwight Howard leads all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting but he's collected only four rebounds. The Clippers have outrebounded the Lakers, 36-26, including a 12-7 advantage on the offensive glass.
Chris Paul put in 17 points for the Clippers and has nine assists as his team is shooting 50% from the field with only seven turnovers.
The Lakers had only two turnovers in the third quarter and are shooting 45.6% from the field in the game while missing six free throws (12 of 18 overall).
The Clippers have converted 11 of 12 from the line.
Clippers 56, Lakers 49 (halftime)
Caron Butler hit a late three-pointer to give the Clippers a seven-point halftime lead.
Butler's shot helped the Clippers extended their five-point lead after the first quarter as they shot 53.8% from the field and 90% from the free-throw line. They also had a 21-15 rebounding edge over the Lakers.
Dwight Howard led all scorers with 16 points, hitting six of nine from the line. Howard had only two rebounds in 18 1/2 minutes.
The Lakers turned the ball over just once in the second quarter, shooting 50% for the game. Kobe Bryant has only four points but he does have nine assists while Earl Clark has eight points.
Jamal Crawford leads the Clippers with 14 points. Chris Paul has nine points with eight assists. Butler, Blake Griffin and Matt Barnes each have nine points.
Clippers 30, Lakers 25 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers played almost eight minutes of defense on the Clippers, building a seven-point lead early.
Of course, each quarter is 12 minutes land the Clippers responded with a late burst to take a five-point lead in the teams' fourth and final meeting of the regular season on Sunday at Staples Center.
Earl Clark led all scorers with eight points for the Lakers.
Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Matt Barnes each had seven for the Clippers, who shot 57.9% from the field.
The Lakers shot 55.6% and made four of five shots from three-point range but had six turnovers. Kobe Bryant didn't score but had six assists as well as three turnovers.
The Lakers (40-36) visit the Clippers (50-26) on Sunday afternoon needing a win to stay ahead of the Utah Jazz for eight place, and the final playoff spot, in the Western Conference.
The Clippers need a victory to try to close on the Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets for the third seed in the West.
The Clippers have won three in a row over the Lakers this season, led by Chris Paul's dominant play. Steve Blake will start again for Steve Nash, who won't play as he works through a strained hamstring and sore hip.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Clippers.
Kobe Bryant happy with Lakers' defensive improvement
Jeff Van Gundy expecting Clippers to sweep Lakers on Sunday
Kobe Bryant says he and Pau Gasol are unstoppable offensive duo
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