Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Postgame Grades and Analysis

Michael Pina@@MichaelVPinaFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2013

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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    With a dominant 109-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night, the Los Angeles Clippers clinched their first Pacific Division title in franchise history and booted their neighbors out of Lob City.

    Kobe Bryant played 47 minutes but was ineffective from the field, missing 13 of his 19 shot attempts.

    Chris Paul was a wizard in this one, controlling the tempo and tallying 24 points and 12 assists. The Clippers shot 50 percent from the floor compared to the Lakers' 43.4 percent.

    The win cemented the Clippers' first season series sweep of the Lakers since the franchise moved to L.A.

Point Guards: Chris Paul and Steve Blake

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    Chris Paul, A+

    Paul was masterful throughout the game, highlighted by a buzzer-beating jumper to end the third quarter. By the end of that period, he had a team-high 17 points and nine assists. 

    He controlled the entire game's pace, finishing with 24 points on just 18 shots and 12 assists. 

    Steve Blake, C+

    Starting in place of Steve Nash, Blake began the game making a string of open shots. But in the third quarter he missed several open attempts, and he entered the fourth quarter shooting 2-of-6 from the floor. 

    He finished with eight points and six rebounds. 

Shooting Guards: Willie Green and Jodie Meeks

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    Willie Green, C

    Willie Green had a typical outing. He played limited minutes (17) and scored seven points. 

    Green did manage to get to the rim a bit early on and made three of his six shots.

    Jodie Meeks, D

    With no Steve Nash, Mike D'Antoni chose to go small, starting Meeks at the 2-guard position. All of Meeks' points were on two early three-pointers. 

    He finished with six points in 32 minutes. 

Small Forwards: Caron Butler and Kobe Bryant

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    Caron Butler, B-

    Butler rattled down a dunk over Antawn Jamison in the first quarter that made him look at least five years younger than he actually is.

    About 20 minutes later, he was blocked by Dwight Howard on a similar play. Butler finished 6-of-14 from the floor and scored 14 points in 26 minutes.

    Kobe Bryant, B

    Bryant was the last Lakers starter to score, but began the game making plays for others, specifically Earl Clark, who he set up a couple times from behind the three-point line. Bryant finished with 10 assists.

    In the second half he looked to score more often, specifically on drives to the basket. He attempted 14 free throws and scored 25 points in 47 minutes. 

Power Forwards: Blake Griffin and Pau Gasol

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    Blake Griffin, A-

    Griffin's activity early on was passive, but he made several key passes that helped ignite the Clippers offense. 

    In the second half he was ferocious in the paint, catching and finishing highly efficient dunks left and right. He closed things out with his fifth three-pointer of the game, sealing a Clippers victory.

    Griffin finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds.

    Pau Gasol, B+

    Gasol began the game with aggressive play on the offensive glass, physically outplaying his counterpart, Blake Griffin. 

    He facilitated his team's offense while existing as a scoring threat. He registered seven assists and 13 rebounds in the game, but scored only 12 points in 39 minutes. 

Centers: DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard

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    DeAndre Jordan, B-

    Jordan had difficulty defending Howard early on, unnecessarily fouling him on a jump hook. 

    He was mostly useless with the ball, rarely registering any sort of production or impact. Jordan finished with four points and 13 rebounds in 29 minutes.

    Dwight Howard, B

    Howard was his vintage self for stretches throughout this game on the offensive end, leading all players in scoring through the third quarter.  

    In that quarter, he blocked a Caron Butler dunk at the apex, showing off the phenomenal impact he can have on the defensive end. 

    But he ended up with only four rebounds to go along with his 25 points. 

Sixth Men: Jamal Crawford and Earl Clark

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    Jamal Crawford, B+

    Crawford was the game's best offensive player in the first half, scoring 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting. He got to the line, hit floaters in the lane and knocked down a pair of three-pointers. 

    He finished with 20 points on 13 shots. 

    Earl Clark, B-

    Clark knocked down his first two shots from behind the three-point line, pushing the Lakers to an early lead in the first quarter. 

    Elsewhere he was hardly a factor, finishing with 11 points in 25 minutes. 


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    Clippers, B+

    Before fouling out, Matt Barnes pestered Kobe Bryant on the perimeter, forcing him into a difficult 6-of-19 shooting performance. He also scored 12 points. 

    Eric Bledsoe played seven minutes and failed to score.

    Lakers, D

    Antawn Jamison was effective on the offensive end, finishing on several occasions at the rim. He scored eight points in 17 minutes. But he was the only Lakers substitute other than Clark to see any action, as Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni opted to use a very short rotation.