Lakers ’embarrassed’ in worst loss in franchise history
The Lakers ended the first quarter of their meeting with the Clippers at Staples Center on Thursday night on a 7-2 run to cut their deficit to just two points. Then, L.A.’s "other team" decided play time was over.
What transpired was history — the wrong type of history as far as the Lakers were concerned.
Once all was said and done, the Lakers couldn’t do anything about being embarrassed on national television, suffering a 48-point drubbing and their worst loss in franchise history, 142-94.
"In the first quarter I thought we played really well, then we took a body blow, and it looked like it just took us to our knees," Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni said. "The air went out big time. They smelled blood in the water and they killed us."
The viewers at home saw a disgruntled look on the face of Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak that made its rounds on social media screaming "caption this." They saw the Lakers get beat up and down the floor. They were witnesses to the Clippers throwing lob after lob after lob against a maligned Lakers defense almost at will.
The Lakers were smaller, yet slower, getting outraced to the tune of 34-23 in fast break points. The rebounding margin was far from close with the Clippers holding the advantage there as well, 64-33.
The Clippers scored 44 points in the second quarter, alone. The Lakers managed just 40 for the first half.
It was the type of game in which you could scour the entire 48 minutes and be hard pressed to find a silver lining.
"I think there was a little bit of fight (in us), but not enough," said Pau Gasol, who finished with a team-high 21 points. "It was just a terrible game on our part."
Added Robert Sacre: "Of course it’s embarrassing. No one wants to lose like that. It’s stupid to feel like that team can beat us like that."
The previous record for largest loss in Lakers history was 46 points, a 129-83 loss to Portland on Jan. 5, 1995. This was also the largest victory in Clippers history and, when added to these teams’ last meeting, means the Clippers have been beaten the Lakers by a combined 84 points in the last two games.
The Clippers showed they just weren’t L.A.’s "other team" but a respectable tenant even if they’ve yet to capture the hearts and minds of the city that bleeds Purple and Gold.
"During the game all the fans were yelling, ‘It’s still a Lakers town,’ and it is, it’s no secret," Clippers guard Chris Paul said.
Still, a loud message was sent with a 48-point win. Since the Lakers surprising Opening Night win over the Clippers, Doc Rivers’ bunch has outscored the Lakers 265-181 in two games.
A month from Thursday they meet again. On the Clippers’ home floor.