for this game

Lakers crush ailing Clippers

Oct 30, 2008 - 6:24 AM By John Reger PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The new-look Los Angeles Clippers made their season debut Wednesday night, and it was the same old result.

Kobe Bryant scored 16 points to lead seven players in double figures as the Los Angeles Lakers claimed a 117-79 romp of the Clippers.

One constant for the Clippers last season was injuries and the team began this year in the same fashion, with new arrivals Baron Davis and Marcus Camby hurting.

Davis, who has a ligament sprain in his left ring finger, managed to play, collecting 11 points and seven assists in his first game with the Clippers after signing a five-year, $65 million contract in the offseason with his hometown team.

"Obviously, we all aren't on the same page," Davis said. "When you are down eight (points) you should be able to find something that you go to and not go the opposite way. Even if you are down 15 you should be able to battle back. I just think mentally we weren't in tune with each other and it showed out there."

Camby, who has been nursing a bruised right heel that caused him to miss the preseason, was scratched from coach Mike Dunleavy's lineup. Tim Thomas was not expected to play due to a sore groin but scored 11 points in 20 minutes.

"No, the groin didn't bother me," Thomas said. "Condition wise I felt pretty good out there. I was able to do the stuff I am capable of doing."

The Clippers' starting lineup had just two regular starters from the prior year, center Chris Kaman and guard Cuttino Mobley, who combined for 19 points.

It was the second game in as many nights for the Lakers, who defeated the Portland Trail Blazers by 20 points on Tuesday. The reigning Western Conference champions didn't look tired at all, building a 15-point lead by halftime and cruising to their second victory in as many games.

"We know what we are capable of and every time we step on the court we think we are going to win," said Trevor Ariza, who had 11 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes. "Everybody is helping out. We know if we get beat someone is there behind us to cover."

Bryant led the team in scoring for the second consecutive contest, making 5-of-12 shots from the field while grabbing eight rebounds. Guard Derek Fisher poured in 15 points, including a trio of 3-pointers.

"We're pretty deep and we used it to our advantage, especially in the second half," Bryant said. "We are doing a good job defensively. We have a good system in place and it's working well for us so far."

The Lakers began the game with a 12-4 run, but the Clippers came back with a 13-6 surge to cut the deficit to one, punctuated with a three-point play by Al Thornton after Davis stole the ball from Bryant.

"We struggled in the first quarter," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We had five turnovers and a couple led to two- or three-point plays. I thought we adjusted well to how the game was going to be played."

The Clippers held the lead twice early in the second quarter, but the Lakers went on a 17-2 run midway through the period to take a 49-35 lead, which they would not relinquish.

The Lakers opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run and built a 20-point advantage and led by as many as 35 points.

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