LOS ANGELES (AP) — Playing in his first game in a month, Blake Griffin scored 24 points and Lou Williams added 23 off the bench to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 121-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
It was the Lakers’ fifth consecutive loss and eighth in nine games.
Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 20 points and Brandon Ingram added 18, all coming in the second half. Julius Randle had 18 points and Larry Nance Jr. added 16.
Montrezl Harrell had 15 points for the Clippers, and Austin Rivers added 13.
Griffin had been out with a knee injury.
Center DeAndre Jordan had 16 rebounds for the Clippers, who outrebounded the Lakers 49-35.
For the second consecutive game, the Lakers started out hitting just one of their first 10 field goals. The lapse proved costly, the Lakers quickly falling behind 19-3.
The Clippers led 35-22 at the end of the first quarter, the most points they have scored in an opening quarter this season.
Clippers: Coach Doc Rivers said before the game that Griffin (sprained left medial collateral ligament) would not be on a minutes limit in his first game back since Nov. 11. Said Rivers: “Not really, I think it’s a lung restriction. He’ll probably get tired. Other than that, it’s not anything we’re worried about.” Griffin was originally expected to be out eight weeks. . F Wes Johnson (foot) also returned after missing three games. . G Austin Rivers left in the third quarter with a right Achilles strain.
Lakers: Instead of practicing Thursday, the struggling Lakers held a team meeting. Lakers coach Luke Walton called it a good meeting, but warned against placing too much significance to it. Said Walton: “I’ve been on a championship team where we had meetings in the middle of the season, so this is nothing new in sports and I think every athlete knows that.” . F Kyle Kuzma suffered a bruised right quad Wednesday but was cleared to play. . G Lonzo Ball (shoulder) missed his third consecutive game and Walton said would not play Sunday.
Clippers: Will host Charlotte on Sunday.
Lakers: Travel to Houston on Sunday to meet the Rockets, who have unexpectedly lost four straight.
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