91 - 96 Final
  for this game

Lakers win Round 2 against Clippers

Jan 26, 2012 - 7:37 AM
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant netted 24 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists as the Lakers squeaked past the Clippers, 96-91 in the second round of the battle of Los Angeles at Staples Center.

Pau Gasol contributed a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Andrew Bynum had 19 points and six rebounds for the Lakers, who have now beaten the Clippers nine consecutive times as the host.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 26 points and nine rebounds, while Caron Butler and Mo Williams chipped in with 16 points apiece. DeAndre Jordan added 11 points and five rebounds for the Clippers, who lost for just the fourth time in their last 12 contests.

Chris Paul returned to action after missing five games with a hamstring injury and contributed 12 assists and four points.

Trailing by one, 80-79, with 6:11 to play, Bryant nailed a jumper to give the Lakers a one-point lead, which they would not relinquish.

On the ensuing Clippers possession, Griffin lost the ball and Chauncey Billups was forced to foul and was assessed a technical on the play.

Bryant sank the technical free throw, then Derek Fisher nailed a pair to give the Lakers an 84-80 lead with 4:35 to play.

A dunk by Bynum gave the Lakers an 89-84 edge with 2:24 to go, but a three- point play by Jordan on the Clippers' next touch made it 89-87 with 2:10 left.

Paul drove to the basket with 1:05 to play, looking to tie the game, but Metta World Peace blocked the shot from behind, leaving the Clippers to inbound the ball with 51 seconds to play.

Griffin got the ball on the inbounds play and had a wide open look at a three from the right corner, but he stepped out of bounds as he came down with the pass.

Bynum put home a layup on the next Laker possession and Bryant sank four free throws over the final 22 seconds to finish off an emotional win for the Lakers, who exacted a measure of revenge after dropping the first meeting between the teams, 102-94 on January 14.

"I thought our guys played a good game," Lakers head coach Mike Brown said. "We got a lot of production from a lot of different guys. The Clippers are a good team, they're athletic and they have a lot of talent. I applaud our guys for trying to defend out there."

The Clippers opened the game with a 13-4 run, but the Lakers fought back with a 19-10 push to tie the game at 23 with 2:37 left in the opening quarter. The Clippers led, 27-25 after one.

Williams and Gasol led their respective teams with eight points in a back-and- forth second quarter, which saw the Clippers take a 51-49 lead into the break.

They opened the third with a 9-2 burst, capped by a Jordan hook shot, to take a 60-51 lead with 9:43 left in the quarter.

The Lakers answered with a 7-0 run to get within 60-58. A floater by Williams put the Clippers up 71-65 with 42 seconds to go in the third, but the Gasol netted the final three points of the quarter to pull the Lakers within 71-68 heading to the final frame.

A jumper by Williams early in the fourth put the Clippers up 76-72, but the Lakers scored the next four points to tie it with 7:44 to play.

"It was a frustrating loss, but it was good to get Chris out there," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I thought we made them earn it at the end. We didn't execute a couple of plays down the stretch that hurt us."

Game Notes

The Lakers improved to 10-2 at home this season, while the Clippers fell to 1-4 as the road team...Lakers forward Josh McRoberts was ejected with 9:34 to play in regulation....The Lakers shot 49 percent from the floor and 8-of-16 from beyond the arc, while the Clippers shot 43 percent from the field and 8- of-23 from three-point range...The Clippers had the edge on the glass, outrebounding the Lakers, 42-36.