Lakers’ miscues too much against Clippers despite reserves’ late rally

first_img“He was pretty good,” Scott said of Russell. “He had some really good moments and then some moments defensively where he was not out there.”Russell’s teammates saw things differently. “D’Angelo played pretty well,” Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said. “He took the challenge down the stretch defensively and found another gear with how to compete.”Russell did that without Bryant. Despite pleas from the 18,997 sellout crowd to put Bryant back in his final Christmas Day game, he sat out the entire fourth quarter after posting 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting and three assists in 26 minutes. Scott maintained it was “an easy decision” to sit Bryant because of the reserves’ strong play and the likelihood that Bryant would feel stiff after sitting out for so long.So, Bryant frequently talked to Russell from the sidelines on what he called “executional things” matching up with Paul. Despite Paul’s production, Russell held his own and even forced a turnover on him.“Playing against him, your level of competition has to go up. That’s what I tried to do,” Russell said. “Your level of play has to go up tremendously. If not, he’ll destroy you.”The Clippers did that through three quarters by building a 85-57 lead. But then the Lakers went on a 19-2 run. But after Lakers forward Brandon Bass hit a 16-foot jumper to pull the Lakers to within 92-84 with 2:43 left, the Lakers missed their last five shots. Yet, Russell’s teammates walked away encouraged by his growth and opportunity. “It was a national game and a Christmas Day game, and he stepped up as a lot of people saw him,” Lakers forward Nick Young said. “All young players need confidence and experience. We believe in him.” rebounds), J.J. Redick (14 points) and Jamal Crawford (13 points).The outcome only became somewhat respectable after the Lakers’ reserves led a fourth-quarter charge that cut a 28-point deficit into much less. Scott mostly credited Marcelo Huertas for that, arguing his intangibles and playmaking did more than his six points on 3-of-4 shooting and two assists suggested. But Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell led the way with 16 points on a 7-of-13 clip in 27 minutes.“You obviously don’t want to stay a reserve,” Russell said. “No disrespect. You want to keep that edge like you should be starting, not saying you’re better than the next guy but you’re playing like I deserve to be out there starting this game.”It does not appear Scott feels that way.He said he feels “inclined” to feature Russell and Julius Randle off the bench at least for the Lakers’ three-game trip to close out 2015 with stops in Memphis (Sunday), Charlotte (Monday) and Boston (Wednesday). Scott also kept his praise toward Russell fairly limited. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img The miscues came in all shapes and sizes.The Lakers stayed out of the paint just as the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan threw down an alley-oop lob. Lakers rookie forward Larry Nance Jr. tipped a long rebound into the Clippers’ basket.“That was indicative of how this season has gone,” Lakers coach Byron Scott.But it was also indicative of the Lakers’ 94-84 loss to the Clippers on Christmas Day in a designated home game at Staples Center. The Lakers (5-25) cemented an eight-game losing streak to their L.A. counterparts. The Clippers (17-13) snapped a three-game winning streak by blending in a healthy mix of Chris Paul (23 points on 11-of-19 shooting, six assists, four rebounds), Blake Griffin (13 points on 6-of-17 shooting, nine last_img

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