Lakers surprise playoff-bound Clippers 122-117
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 06, 2019 02:08 PM
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, congratulates guard Alex Caruso after the Lakers defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 122-117 in an NBA basketball game Friday, April 5, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
By Beth Harris, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Caruso scored a career-high 32 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 25 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied to beat the playoff-bound Clippers 122-117 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
Rajon Rondo scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter when he was the most veteran player on the floor for the Lakers, whose biggest names have already been shut down for the season.
With summer vacation beckoning next week, the Lakers stunned the Clippers with eight three-pointers in the fourth, including on four straight possessions. Rondo and Caruso made three each.
The Clippers got to 118-115 on Danilo Gallinari's three-pointer. But Caruso kissed a layup off the glass as the crowd roared for the two-way player. He crashed the lane for a layup on the Lakers' previous possession, too.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's basket again drew the Clippers within three, but Pope made a pair of free throws. Gilgeous-Alexander turned the ball over in the closing seconds.
JaVale McGee had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Rondo had 12 assists for the Lakers. They out-rebounded the Clippers, 55-45.
The Lakers erased all of a 12-point deficit in the third, repeatedly getting defensive stops to trail by two going into the fourth.
Gallinari led the Clippers with 27 points. Gilgeous-Alexander added 20 points and Lou Williams had 18.
The Clippers had won 8-of-10 coming in, but have dropped two in a row.
The Clippers blew a 12-point lead in the third. Mike Muscala and Caruso hit back-to-back three-pointers and Jemerrio Jones' basket tied it at 84-all for the Lakers, whose defense got repeated stops.
Lakers: They split the season series, 2-2. ... F Kyle Kuzma (left foot peroneal tendinitis) missed his fourth straight game. ... G Reggie Bullock (neck stiffness) sat.
Clippers: G Patrick Beverley (right hip pointer) rested for the second game in a row. ... F JaMychal Green wasn't with the team while awaiting the birth of a child.
Lakers: Host Utah on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) in their next-to-last game.
Clippers: Visit West-leading Golden State on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).