Preview: Clippers Clash with Lakers in “Battle of the Injuries”

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Blake Griffin
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Blake Griffin /

If you like games that feature multiple superstars out, tonight is the game for you.

Anytime the Lakers and Clippers meet up, there’s always some added excitement. Although many claim LA will always be run by the Lakers, there’s no question that over the last five years or so, it has been run by the Clippers. The Clippers have won 20 of their last 22 match-ups with the Lakers. That stretch is the third best record of any team against an opponent from the same conference in that span. So what we’re saying is, it’s pretty darn good. Over the course of those 22 games, the Clippers have outscored the Lakers by an average of 15 points. Pretty dominant and one-sided.

Now let’s get back to what I mentioned earlier, the injuries. Regardless of who wins tonight, the other team can’t use the “we were missing guys” excuse, because that case can be meant for both teams. The Clippers will be without the usual guys, Patrick Beverley and Danilo Gallinari.

However, the big news of the night is that Blake Griffin will be available.

The Lakers will be without Lonzo Ball and Brook Lopez. Rookie of the Year candidate Kyle Kuzma is listed as questionable with a right quad contusion.

Previous Match-ups:

The teams have met up twice this season, with the Clippers winning both. Both clubs opened the season against one-another, with the Clips winning 108-92. Blake Griffin finished with 29 and 12, and DeAndre Jordan finished with 14 and 24. Most memorable from that night is the tenacious defense Patrick Beverley played on Lonzo Ball. Sadly, we won’t be getting a rematch tonight.

The last matchup was a closer battle, as the Clips escaped with a 120-115 victory. Most notably, this was the game in which Blake Griffin went down with an injury. The Clippers found themselves down two entering the fourth, but a 33-point surge in the final quarter helped propel them to a victory. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope dropped 29 in the last matchup. , who got a rare start, scored a season-high 42 points.

Tonight’s Match-up:

The Clippers come into tonight with a three-game lead over the Lakers in the standings. Both teams are in desperate need of a winning streak to help boost them into the top eight.

The Clips are coming off a game in which they had season-highs in assists, bench points, and first half points. Although it was against the Sacramento Kings, LA had one of their best overall games of the season.

The Lakers are riding a four-game losing streak, and have lost seven of their last eight. The only bright spot on the season has been rookie sensation Kyle Kuzma, but as mentioned earlier, he might not play tonight due to injury.

Interesting Notes:

  • The only player to average more rebounds in December than DeAndre Jordan (17.5) is Dennis Rodman (20.7, 19.9, 18.2)
  • Corey Brewer has appeared in 310 consecutive games, which is the longest active streak in the NBA
  • In the month of December, Montrezl Harrell is averaging the most points per game (10.1) for a player averaging less than 16 minutes a game (15.7) in the NBA
  • The Lakers average the most points in the paint in the NBA (53.6)