Los Angeles’ “other” team will try to repeat the feat when they “visit” the injury-plagued Lakers.
With Shaquille O’Neal (calf) and Karl Malone (knee) nursing injuries, the Clippers were able to withstand a season-high 44-point performance from Kobe Bryant, posting a 101-98 victory over the Lakers on Jan. 4.
“It definitely feels good to get that win, now it’s time to move on,” Clippers forward Elton Brand said after that win. “We definitely have bragging rights, we own the city tonight—at least until we play them again.”
Brand led the Clippers that night with 30 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
This time around, the Clippers won’t have to worry about Bryant. The star swingman is expected to miss at least five games after re-aggravating his surgically repaired right shoulder in a win over Cleveland on Monday.
O’Neal and Malone are still out of commission, and the Lakers aren’t sure when either will return, leaving Gary Payton and an unfamiliar cast of starters to fill the void.
Kareem Rush provided some help Friday night, scoring a career-high 30 points, but the Lakers suffered a 103-83 setback at league-leading Sacramento to end their three-game winning streak.
Forward Horace Grant was also missing from the Lakers’ bench as he left the team to be with his ailing father in Georgia.
The Lakers, who boast an 18-2 mark at Staples—an arena the two Los Angeles franchises share, will be the home team for this contest.
The Clippers appeared to be on the verge of winning consecutive games for the first time in a month, but suffered a tough 87-85 loss to Miami on Friday. Elton Brand had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who played without Quentin Richardson for the third time in four games due to a sprained left knee.
On Friday, the Clippers waived forward Glenn Rice and activated Melvin Ely, who missed 12 games because of influenza.