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Lakers' bench fuels 116-103 victory over Clippers in opener

Lakers' Xavier Henry leads all scorers with a career-high 22 points. Clippers' DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul notch double-doubles, but fail to grab win.

October 29, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Steve Blake tries to steal the ball away from Chris Paul during the Lakers' home opener against the Clippers at Staples Center on Tuesday.
Steve Blake tries to steal the ball away from Chris Paul during the Lakers'… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Lakers 116 - Clippers 103 (end of regulation)

The Lakers upset the Clippers on Tuesday night at Staples Center, opening the season with a stunning bench performance.

Heading into the fourth quarter with a four-point deficit, the combination of Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Hill completely overwhelmed the Clippers.

Henry led all scorers with a career-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Farmar had 16 with six assists.

Coach Mike D'Antoni stuck with the lineup through the entire period, letting the group close out against the Clippers' stars.

Griffin led the Clippers with 19 points. DeAndre Jordan had 17 points with 11 rebounds.

Pau Gasol also had a double-double with 15 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Paul had a double-double as well with 15 points and 11 assists.

The Lakers shot 45.2% from the field for the game but shot 48.3% from three-point range (14-29). The Clippers hit 49.2% and 38.1%, respectively.

Despite 19 turnovers, the Lakers made up for some of their miscues with 30 second-chance points to the Clippers' 16. The Clippers turned the ball over 16 times.

While he didn't put numbers on the stat sheet, newcomer Johnson was a major factor in the final run, guarding All-Star forward Blake Griffin.

The Lakers improve to 1-0 on the season. They'll play again Wednesday night in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors.

The play of the bench could indirectly help on the second-night of a back-to-back given Gasol’s 24 minutes was the most of any starter Tuesday. Steve Nash played just over 20 minutes, scoring three points with five assists.

Clippers 79 - Lakers 75 (end of third quarter)

After an early burst from the Clippers, the Lakers stayed competitive through most of the third quarter.

The Clippers led by as many as eight, shot 50% from the field through three periods but still only led the Lakers by a small margin.

The Lakers hit just 38.6% from the field through 36 minutes but stayed in the game on the glass, free-throw line and behind the arc.

Blake Griffin led all scorers with 19 points. Pau Gasol had 15 for the Lakers. Nick Young chipped in 13 on 3-of-10 shooting, hitting 6 of 8 from the line.

The Clippers had the advantage in the paint 40-26.

Clippers 57 - Lakers 55 (halftime)

The Clippers got physical with the Lakers in the second quarter, committing a pair of flagrant fouls. Matt Barnes and DeAndre Jordan were both called with flagrant-1 calls (on Shawne Williams and Nick Young, respectively).

The Lakers fought to take a three-point lead at 38-35. The Clippers responded with nine straight points -- followed by eight in a row from the Lakers.

By the quarter's end, the Clippers held a two-point lead when Pau Gasol's basket at the buzzer was waved off.

Gasol led the Lakers with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Chris Kaman had 10 as the Lakers shot 42% from the field but 55.6% from three-point range (5-9).

The Clippers got 13 apiece from Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick, while shooting 58.5% from the field and 44.4% from three (4-9).

Clippers 30 - Lakers 28 (end of first quarter)

The Lakers survived an early onslaught from J.J. Redick (12 points) to close within two points after the first quarter of the 2013-14 NBA season.

Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Chris Kaman scored six off the bench.

The Clippers hot 59.1% from the field, also getting 10 points from DeAndre Jordan. All-Star Blake Griffin went scoreless. Chris Paul had two points but seven assists.

The Lakers shot just 42.3% from the field but held a 14-11 rebounding advantage.

Pregame

The Lakers (0-0) host the Clippers (0-0) on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

For the moment, the teams are tied in the standings. The Clippers, at least on paper, have a better team than the Lakers -- especially with Kobe Bryant sidelined while recovering from his Achilles injury.

The Clippers make their debut for Coach Doc Rivers facing major expectations.

The Lakers may exceed the low expectations many have for the franchise -- given it’s a low bar.  Opening night against the Clippers will be a particularly difficult challenge, especially without Bryant.

For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Clippers.

ALSO:

Preview: Lakers vs. Clippers

The Lakers have a brutal week to start

Rookie Ryan Kelly makes it to opening night

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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