Chris Paul, Clippers Pick Apart Lakers in Battle of Los Angeles
Chris Paul led the surge, putting up 17 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and five steals in only 24 minutes of play, and the newly crowned kings of Los Angeles won their first battle by a convincing 19 points.
Recently signed Chauncey Billups also filled in nicely at the two-guard, dropping 23 points and three steals, and shooting a perfect nine-for-nine from the foul line and four-of-six from three.
"We're really not there yet," said Billups to the NBA TV reporter. "Right now, what were doing is playing extremely hard, trying to play together."
"Its a very deadly combination. [Paul and Billups] We just kind of play off of one another. I think we're gonna cause a lot of teams a lot of problems."
CP3 and DeAndre Jordan got the "Lob City" mantra into action, as Paul found the young Center twice for electrifying oops over the Laker defense.
Blake Griffin finished with a quiet 12 points and five rebounds, but was on the receiving end of an off-the-backboard alley-oop from the veteran PG, Billups.
For the Lakers, the preseason-opener was a reality check.
The team, as a whole, looked unusually sloppy, turning the rock over 21 times; seven of which came from the Black Mamba himself.
Bryant played an efficient game, finishing with 22 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and 12-of-15 from the foul line. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum finished with 16 and 15 points respectively, but the gaping hole left open by Lamar Odom's trade proved to be something that had yet to be filled.
Rookie Darius Morris also had an impressive NBA debut with 11 points, but the Clippers proved to be too much for the Lakers to handle.
"We still gotta get better on the defensive end," said Paul after the game. "We gotta clean up a lot of things on the offensive end."
The next Battle for Los Angeles is on Wednesday, December 21st, and you can guarantee that the Black Mamba won't take too kindly to losing to the home-town rival.
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