The Los Angeles Lakers are off to a great start in the preseason, as they downed the LA Clippers despite missing their two biggest stars on opening night of the preseason.
The two teams will not have to wait for long before seeing each other again, as they meet on the same floor again tomorrow.
Catch this game live on Dec. 14 at 9:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (1-0, 1-0 at home)
As expected, the Lakers played without LeBron James and Anthony Davis in their preseason opener, but they apparently didn’t need to, as they defeated the Clippers on Saturday,87-81.
Instead, the Lakers relied on the likes of Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker to lead the way for them. Horton-Tucker especially caught the eye of many, as he finished with 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 37 minutes. Look for him to be featured in heavy minutes going forward in the preseason, with the Lakers seemingly thinking they have something special in the sophomore.
In his Lakers debut, Montrezl Harrell had 13 points and 12 rebounds against his former team. Harrell doesn’t slow down even in meaningless games like this, so don’t expect anything less from the Energizer-bunny big man.
As for Kuzma, hopes to build on his 18-point performance on Wednesday, while helping tighten up the chemistry of the team working on a system he fully knows about.
ROAD TEAM: LA Clippers (0-1, 0-1 on the road)
One of the most striking things from the Clippers’ loss to the Lakers was the number of players they used. The Clippers gave 18 players at least three minutes of playing time, while only nine Lakers saw action.
No Clippers starter played more than 14 minutes, which were how many were given to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Leonard only just three points, while George chipped in 10 to lead all Clippers scorers.
After the game, head coach Tyronn Lue said that the Clippers plan in the upcoming season is to start Serge Ibaka at center, and they already did in the Lakers game, with the veteran big man scoring six points and grabbing two rebounds in eight minutes.
The Clippers outrebounded the Lakers, 55-46, with Ivica Zubac pacing the team with 10 boards. With the Lakers looking disinterested in giving Davis minutes, the Clippers should be able to do well in cleaning the glass, with Ibaka, Zubac, and Mfiondu Kabengele all part of their team’s extensive rotation.
The Lakers took the first meeting with the Clippers in the preseason a bit more seriously, as evidenced by the favorable minutes they gave to their vets and key newcomers. Expect more of the same on Sunday, as the Lakers score another win over the Clippers, 94-89.