Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/20

Game 1: Tuesday, November 20th
Lakers98Final
Clippers93
Game 2: Friday, December 14th
Clippers80Final
Lakers110
Game 3: Wednesday, January 23rd
Lakers90Final
Clippers95
Game 4: Friday, March 15th
Clippers92Final
Lakers98

Lakers 90

(28-11, 11-7 away)

Clippers 95

(22-21, 19-7 home)

    7:30 PM ET, January 23, 2002

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 25 24 21 2090
    LAC 19 16 35 2595

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: K. Bryant 27 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Los Angeles: E. Brand 25 Pts, 12 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Brand comes through in clutch for Clippers

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Elton Brand admitted he wanted the ball in crunch time. He got it, and led the Los Angeles Clippers to a rare victory over their crosstown rivals.

    Jeff McInnis, right, and Elton Brand embrace after wrapping up the Clippers' rare victory over the Lakers. Brand finished with 25 points.

    Corey Maggette had 28 points to equal a career-high, and Brand scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday night as the Clippers beat the Lakers 95-90.

    Brand scored six of his team's final seven points as the Clippers beat the two-time defending NBA champions for only the second time in their last 20 meetings.

    "I wanted the ball, I felt when I had it, I'd play for myself and my teammates," said Brand, who also had 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. "I had a lot of confidence.

    "Right now, for this team, I'm the guy to make the big shots."

    The Clippers, who trailed 49-35 at halftime, played without Lamar Odom, who is missed his third consecutive game due to a sprained ligament in his right wrist and is sidelined indefinitely.

    Maggette started in Odom's place and scored 23 points in the second half.

    "I think it started with the defense, then I hit some shots," Maggette said. "My job is not really to do all that, my job is to play good defense, score 10 or 12 points."

    Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and Shaquille O'Neal had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers (28-11), who lost their second consecutive game and fifth in the last seven.

    Guarded mostly by Bryant, Maggette made a 3-pointer with 10:47 remaining to snap a 72-all tie and put the Clippers ahead for good.

    Maggette and Bryant could be seen talking to each other often during the game.

    "We were just having fun," Maggette said. "Kobe's a great player, just friendly talk. Both guys made some good shots."

    Bryant smiled when asked about his exchanges with Maggette.

    "Just trash-talking, that's all," Bryant said. "He made four straight 3-point shots. I told him, I liked my chances of him not knocking down a fifth one."

    Maggette did so, and missed.

    "He played great tonight," Bryant said.

    Regarding the outcome, Bryant said: "It was just execution, that's all. Down the stretch, we had a chance to steal the ballgame. We just didn't execute. The Clippers are an athletic team, they feed off momentum.

    "Two losses in a row, two rings in a row," Bryant added, referring to the Lakers' back-to-back championships. "It's a long season, you take the good with the bad."

    The Lakers closed to two points on a basket by O'Neal with 3:12 left, but Brand scored five consecutive points to make it 93-86 with 1:42 remaining.

    A free throw by Derek Fisher and a 3-pointer by Devean George made it 93-90 with 1:22 to play, and Fisher missed a 3-pointer that could have tied the game.

    After the Clippers committed a turnover, Brand blocked a 3-point attempt by Rick Fox, and Fisher missed a dunk with 21 seconds to go.

    "I felt like there was definitely contact on the arm," said Fisher, who rarely dunks. "Down the stretch, the referees are going to make the players make plays."

    Darius Miles made a foul shot and Bryant missed a 3-pointer to end any hopes the Lakers might have had. A free throw by Brand with two seconds left completed the scoring.

    "I think that we are not putting full games together," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "They are playing better than we are right now. You have got to give Corey (Maggette) credit."'

    Maggette, averaging 10.6 points, had 18 in the third quarter as the Clippers outscored the Lakers 35-21 to tie the game at 70.

    A dunk by O'Neal triggered a 13-6 run by the Lakers to give them a 25-19 lead entering the second quarter.

    Bryant scored eight points as part of a 13-2 run in the last five minutes of the first half to give the Lakers their 14-point lead.

    The game was played before a crowd of 20,309 in Staples Center. It was the fourth-largest crowd in the history of the Clippers, who were the home team.

    Game notes
    The Lakers have a 114-38 overall record against the Clippers and are 2-1 in the crosstown series this season. ... Odom, averaging 13.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists, underwent an MRI on Wednesday that revealed he has a sprained ligament in his wrist. Odom's wrist will be placed in a cast Thursday, and a determination will be made at that time as to when he might return. ... Robert Horry didn't play for the Lakers because of a cramped left hamstring.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES