On Saturday afternoon, the LA Clippers remained perfect in 2017 by demolishing the Los Angeles Lakers, 113-97, behind a double-doubles from Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan.
The Clippers, who played as the home team in this the second meeting of the season between the Staple Center co-tenants, avenged their Christmas night defeat, when Paul sat out due to injury. With CP3 back in the team, though, the Clippers enjoyed a 13-point lead in the first quarter, as the Clippers' point guard connected with Jordan and took advantage of sloppy Lakers' play.
That advantage jumped up to 22 points before halftime, though a late buzzer beater by Julius Randle helped the Lakers hobble into the locker room down by 19 points.
For LA, Jordan Clarkson offered a strong offensive boost off the bench with 21 points on the day, but that contribution did little to stop the combination of Paul and Jordan. Jordan finished with 24 points and 21 rebounds on 12/13 shooting on the day, to go along with two block shots and a steal.
"[Jordan] has been terrific," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after the game. "He was as dominant of a force as you can have in the NBA. That's how good he was. I thought he disrupted everything. He makes you not want to drive and not want to be near the basket. It allowed our guards to really get into the ball and pressure."
Paul added, "I expect that type of play from [Jordan], so I'm not surprised by the game he had at all."
Paul, who had a statistically strong game in his own right, exited the game late in the fourth quarter with 20 points, 13 assists, five rebounds and two steals to drive the Clippers to their sixth straight victory of the calendar year.
In searching for positives, the Lakers could look to 19-year-old Brandon Ingram, who scored 14 points and recorded five rebounds and five assists in yet another efficient performance.
The Clippers remained perfect in 2017 and improved to 28-14, while the Lakers dropped to 15-29.
Notes: Lakers committed 15 turnovers to the Clippers' eight. The Clippers shot 52.2 percent from the field. The Lakers shot 44.4 percent. The Lakers missed 12 foul shots, while the Clippers made seven of their eight free throws.