Coach

Clippers Blow Out Lakers, Walton Benches Starters

The Clippers led by 30 points at halftime and easily cruised to a lopsided victory

The Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers met in a game that pitted one team that experts consider a dark horse to make the NBA Finals and one team that is dead last in the Western Conference.

Predictably, the Clippers won, but the fashion of the 133-109 victory had the Lakers' home crowd at a loss for words and struggling to do more than launch into unified groans a various points during the game.

The game started with the Clippers scoring the first seven points and opening up a double-digit lead before the Lakers scored their second basket. However, the purple and gold appeared to be gaining their sea legs when the first quarter ended with the home team trailing by single digits.

Then, the second quarter hit.

Led by a massive rebounding edge, the Clippers out played, out worked and out scored the Lakers. In the blink of an eye, the Clippers led by 25 points at the midway point in the second quarter. When Chris Paul hit a buzzer beating three-pointer, the Clippers entered their locker room leading 70-40: a 30-point lead.

"They were aggressive," Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram said after the game. "They attacked first. They brought the physicality."

When the second half started, the Lakers came out with a new look. Lakers coach Luke Walton benched all five of his starters and started the second half with Tyler Ennis, David Nwaba, Corey Brewer, Thomas Robinson and Tarik Black.

Obviously, the Lakers' coach was trying to send a message.

"The most important [message] was that playing without a certain amount of effort isn't acceptable or tolarated," Walton explained his actions after the game.

Walton added, "We've had a lot of downs, but to come out in front of our home fans and give out that type of effort wasn't okay. It wasn't right."

While the Lakers did not play as poorly in the second half as they did in the first half, the Clippers cruised to victory and led by as many as 37 points on the night.

On the night, Paul stood out as the best player for either team and the Clippers' point guard finished with 27 points on 9/15 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and four assists in only 25 minutes of play.

With the win, the Clippers improved to 43-29, while the Lakers dropped to 20-51 with the loss. After a 10-10 start to the season, the Lakers have now lost 41 of their last 51 games.

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