Even though the crosstown rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers appears more even than in past years, the Lakers still rule Los Angeles.
The Lakers look to continue their domination of the Clippers when the teams meet for the second time this season.
But the Lakers remained on top in the first meeting between the teams this season.
Bryant had 23 points, six rebounds and 11 assists as the Lakers beat the Clippers 103-89 on Nov. 17. The Lakers are 18-3 against the Clippers at Staples Center since the arena opened five years ago, and have a 27-3 record in the last 30 games between the teams.
“For me, it’s old hat,” said Bryant, who was courted by the Clippers when he was a free agent this summer.
The Lakers have lost two of their last three games, while the Clippers have won six of seven.
Bryant had 20 points, tied a season high with 11 assists and grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds Wednesday en route to his 12th career triple-double, but hit the right side of the rim on a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded in the Lakers’ 113-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Bryant also had a triple-double last Friday night against Golden State, getting 10 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds in a 97-88 win.
“We’ve been right there, and we haven’t made the play, that is what it comes down to,” Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. “When we start making the plays then we’ll be in the winner’s circle.”
Brand, who had 19 points, took exception to Emeka Okafor’s defense and responded with an uncharacteristic flagrant foul that earned him two technical fouls and an ejection with 3:28 remaining.
“It was just a push,” Brand said. “It was frustration from getting tangled up. I wasn’t trying to start a fight or a melee or anything. I was just trying to break away. But the league is definitely cracking down on anything that goes on. I was having a pretty good fourth quarter, so it was very difficult to watch after that.”