94 - 102 Final
  for this game

Paul leads Clippers past Lakers in battle of LA

Jan 15, 2012 - 7:00 AM
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The first battle of Los Angeles went to the Clippers, as Chris Paul finished with 33 points and six assists to carry his new team over the Lakers, 102-94, at a fragmented Staples Center.

The acquisition of Paul in the offseason, coupled with NBA commissioner David Stern blocking a three-team deal that would have sent the All-Star point guard to the Lakers, set the stage for a legitimate rivalry in the City of Angels.

Paul did his part in their first meeting, though he exited with a hamstring strain after his step-back jumper provided a 13-point lead late in regulation.

The injury did not appear serious, and the Clippers cruised over the final four minutes to win for the fifth time in six games. Blake Griffin added 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Chauncey Billups scored 19 points in the win.

Kobe Bryant reached the 40-point plateau for the fourth straight game, but his 42-point effort could not extend the Lakers' five-game winning streak.

"I don't care how many points Kobe gets, as long as we get the win," said Billups.

Andrew Bynum logged 12 points and 16 rebounds, while Pau Gasol added 14 and 10 in the setback.

The Lakers trailed by 13 at the break, but Bryant got going with a pair of buckets in the first two minutes of the third after shooting 3-for-12 from the field in the first half.

The future Hall-of-Famer scored 14 points during a 16-5 run later in the frame, pulling the Lakers within 72-69 in the final minute.

Bryant wound up with 21 points in the quarter, which ended with the Clippers clinging to a 76-72 advantage.

Paul and Randy Foye combined to score the Clippers' first 13 points of the fourth, with the former nailing a three-pointer for an 89-78 cushion.

Bryant connected on a pair of jumpers around the midway point, but turned the ball over the next time down. The Clippers scored on their next three possessions, with Paul's 15-footer yielding a 95-82 cushion.

"Chris Paul had a whale of a game," Lakers head coach Mike Brown said. "Tonight we didn't get it done."

Even though Paul limped off following the shot, the Clippers held on to earn a wire-to-wire victory.

Paul scored 11 points in the opening quarter, including a three-point play that resulted a 31-21 lead with 1.7 seconds on the clock.

Darius Morris drained a heave from well behind center court just before the buzzer for the Lakers, who trailed 55-42 at the break after the Clippers scored the final six points of the half.

Game Notes

Bryant has 111 career 40-point games...Caron Butler scored 13 points, while Foye ended with 10 for the Clippers, who had 25 second-chance points to the Lakers' 12...The Clippers also won the rebounding battle, 50-42...Morris, Matt Barnes, Metta World Peace and Brown were each issued a technical foul in the loss...Griffin was whistled for a technical foul in the third quarter after a scrum with Peace.