Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/21

Game 1: Tuesday, November 21st
Game 2: Saturday, December 2nd
Game 3: Wednesday, April 4th
Game 4: Thursday, April 12th

Lakers 97

(11-5, 2-3 away)

Clippers 88

(7-8, 7-2 home)

    Coverage: FSPI

    7:30 PM ET, December 2, 2006

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 20 27 22 2897
    LAC 22 17 25 2488

    Top Performers

    LAL: L. Odom 18 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    LAC: E. Brand 17 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

    Kobe stays hot enough to propel Lakers past Clippers

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Clippers were supposed to be shoving the Los Angeles Lakers out of the limelight.

    So far this season, Kobe Bryant and his Lakers teammates are still taking the bows.

    Bryant had a relatively quiet game with 29 points, and the Lakers beat the Clippers 97-88 Saturday night to defeat their arena co-tenants for the second time in less than two weeks.

    He still downplayed down the rivalry between the teams, whose locker rooms are some 30 feet apart.

    "This is such a long season and we enjoy the matchups, as I'm sure they do. But that's where it stays. My theory on that is rivalries are made in the playoffs, not in the regular season," said Bryant, who scored 40 points in their earlier meeting.

    "In the playoffs, that's when things kind of heat up. But this is something that the city wants to talk about, and as players we can't help but respond to that type of challenge."

    The Lakers' Lamar Odom had 18 points and eight rebounds before fouling out in the final minute. Smush Parker added 11 points.

    Cuttino Mobley and Elton Brand had 17 points apiece in the loss. Sam Cassell scored 16 for the Clippers, who were beaten for the sixth time in their last seven games.

    "It was disappointing; we had a lot of lapses tonight," Brand said. "Late in the game we have to trust each other and be a team.

    "When we made our run (to the second round of the playoffs) last year, that is what made us so deadly. When we shared the ball, we let the team win games instead of individuals."

    Bryant was coming off a 52-point performance in a victory over Utah on Thursday night, when he went 19-of-26 in a rout of the Jazz.

    He was 11-of-23 in the rematch against the Clippers, who shot 44 percent from the floor to the Lakers' 50 percent.

    The Lakers lead the Pacific Division with an 11-5 mark. The Clippers are last at 7-8.

    "I don't know the reason for our success compared to theirs," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "They're perhaps not shooting the ball as well. They've had some injuries that have changed their timing and coordination skills, for instance."

    The Lakers were up 69-64 heading into the fourth quarter, with an Andrew Bynum layup with 17 seconds left giving them their five-point edge.

    The Clippers, down 49-41 early in the third period, took the lead at 60-59 on Mobley's 3-pointer with 3:33 left in the quarter, but Bryant hit a running jumper shortly afterward to put the Lakers back in front.

    They stayed there.

    The Clippers were the home team, so the floor with their logo was installed over the ice at the arena, where the NHL's Anaheim Ducks had beaten the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 a few hours earlier.

    Livingston finished with two blocks and eight points.

    Game notes

    The Lakers beat the Clippers 105-101 on Nov. 21. ... The Clippers were coming off a 105-90 victory over Memphis on Wednesday that snapped a five-game losing streak. ... The Lakers lead the all-time series 138-43, but the teams split the season series each of the past two years.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 88
    FGM-FGA 40-80 (.500) 34-78 (.436)
    3PM-3PA 7-21 (.333) 2-11 (.182)
    FTM-FTA 10-19 (.526) 18-23 (.783)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-37 11-44
    Assists 17 15
    Turnovers 15 18
    Steals 6 8
    Blocks 9 9
    Fast Break Points 5 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 26 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 12 6

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Los Angeles
    Lamar Odom Odom
    Points: 18
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 17
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 4