The Los Angeles Clippers defeated their co-tenant, the Los Angeles Lakers, 103-81, on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Chris Paul led the Clippers with 25 points and Jeff Green scored 21 points off the bench wherein their franchise-record victory streak over the Lakers is their second-longest active run against any opponent.
Despite losing, affection for Kobe Bryant overflowed as the Clippers paid tribute by showing video for him before he was introduced. Chris Paul and Paul Pierce wished him well in between highlights of Bryant playing against Clippers. Bryant clapped as an act of appreciation.
In the first quarter of the game, as Kobe Bryant shot free throws, the fans were chanting “MVP! MVP!”. He was combined 2 for 18 in two games before his incredible game against Boston Celtics wherein he scored 34 points.
The crowd, including plenty of Lakers fans, made Bryant feel at home, cheering his introduction and when he re-entered the game in the second quarter.
“The guy deserves it,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said as per reported in ESPN. “It was nice for the 75 percent of our home crowd. The 25 percent of Lakers fans probably can’t get Laker tickets and they got ours. I didn’t care they were there to cheer for Kobe. It was a good tribute.”
Paul and Bryant guarded each other for parts of the game, with Bryant describing the Clippers All-Star as a “vicious, nasty competitor, and I love that about him.”
The starting five combined to shoot 10 for 51 in the Lakers’ 10th loss in 12 games. Metta World Peace led them with 17 points. Jordan Clarkson, who scored 10 points, had X-rays on his right foot and leg after getting stepped on.
In an update made by Mark Medina of LA Daily News, he reported that Clarkson’s X-ray came back negative and he will be able to play on their game on Wednesday.
Bryant did not play in the fourth quarter and sat on the bench with both shoulders and both knees wrapped. The crowd did various chants for him causing Bryant to laugh and point at them as a way of saying thank you.
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