The Los Angeles Clippers (23-10) are now 2-0 against the Los Angeles Lakers (24-7) this season after storming home to secure a 111-106 comeback win on Christmas Day.
After trailing by 12 points at half-time, the Clippers clawed their way back into the game to tie things up at the end of the third, before Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell dominated the fourth quarter to seal the win.
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Leonard recorded a game-high 35 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, on 11-of-19 from the field, 5-of-7 from the three-point line and 8-of-8 at the free-throw line as he set a new franchise record for most points in a Christmas Day game
George added 17 points, while Harrell added 18 points and six rebounds off the bench to hand the Lakers their fourth-straight loss.
For more on the Clippers' big win, we have you covered with takeaways below.
Beverley locks up W
For all of the Clippers' star power, Patrick Beverley continues to show time and time again how valuable his hard-nosed contributions are to their success.
With the Clippers leading by three points in the final 20 seconds, LeBron James had a chance to tie it up, but Beverley came up with the huge defensive stop as he rose up to shoot from beyond the arc, with the officials ruling the ball went out off James.
Pat Bev pokes it away for the crucial stop! #NBAXmas @LAClippers 109@Lakers 106- LIVE on ESPN/ABC: LAC@LAL (@NBA) December 26, 2019
3.6 left on ESPN/ABC. LAC ball. pic.twitter.com/G6jKmPjnzv
Beverley finished with eight points, nine rebounds, four assists and one steal, but his constant defensive pressure and intensity down the stretch, lifted the Clippers whenever they found themselves in a hole.
Patrick Beverley was a +26 when he was on the floor in tonight's 5-point win.- StatMuse (@statmuse) December 26, 2019
Other than Kawhi Leonard(+13), none of this other teammates had a +/- higher than +2.
Made a much bigger impact than that game saving block for sure. pic.twitter.com/ryU3ui3Oc4
"It was very huge, that's why I love him," Leonard said of Beverley's late stop.
"He's running around like he's got 50 points out here and that steal, that block just gets him going and he helps everybody's energy."
Clippers Klaw their way back
The Clippers trailed by 15 points in the third quarter, but drew level at 86-86 heading into the fourth, thanks to a barrage of three-pointers.
thanks to a barrage of three-pointers to help draw them level at 86-86 heading into the fourth.
Kawhi Leonard (2), Beverley, JaMychael Green, Landry Shamet combined to go 5-of-8 from three in the period, while the Lakers went cold going 1-of-10 from beyond the arc, setting the stage for the Clippers' comeback.
The BEST 2nd half buckets from the @LAClippers as they erase a 15-point deficit to take the Battle of LA! #NBAXmas #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/pF0eTiaBjx- LIVE on ESPN: NOP@DEN (@NBA) December 26, 2019
Per ESPN Stats & Info, the 12-point half-time deficit was largest halftime deficit overcome to win on Christmas Day since the Dallas Mavericks (16 points) in 2003.
Leonard scored 11 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, but got plenty of help from Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams and Paul George down the stretch, with the four of them combining for all 25 of the Clippers' fourth quarter points and 34 of their final 40 on the night.
The Clippers Big 4 scored 34 of the Clippers' last 40 points (including all 25 in 4Q) in their huge comeback win vs the Lakers. pic.twitter.com/ur7YdlXaW2- StatMuse (@statmuse) December 26, 2019
A rough night for LeBron James
While LeBron finished with an impressive statline of 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, it was a rough night shooting the ball.
James didn't connect on a field goal till midway through the second quarter. He shot 9-of-24 for the game, struggling against the defensive trio of Leonard, George and Beverley, going 2-of-12 from the three-point line.
Those 10 misses from deep were his most in any game of his NBA career, regular season or playoffs, per ESPN Stats & info.
To make matters worse, James told reporters post-game that he took a knock to the groin.
"I felt healthy going into the game," James said. "The second or third defensive possession, I got kneed in the groin taking a charge from Pat Beverley. That kind of sent me back to where I was five days ago."
Lakers' LeBron James: "I felt healthy going into the game. The second or third defensive possession, I got kneed in the groin taking a charge from Pat Beverley. That kind of sent me back to where I was five days ago." pic.twitter.com/KHWoCjyMZQ- Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) December 26, 2019
Kuzma lifts Lakers bench
In just his second game back after missing five with an ankle sprain, Kyle Kuzma was electric on Christmas Day.
The 24-year-old provided a spark off the bench, scoring a season-high 25 points on 8-of-17 from the field and 4-of-9 from the three-point line.
In just under six minutes of action in the first quarter, Kuzma scored 15 of his 25 points, trading buckets with Kawhi Leonard in a crucial stretch late in the period.
🔥 KUZ CONTROL! 🔥@kylekuzma drops 15 1st quarter PTS off the @Lakers bench at @STAPLESCenter! #LakeShow #NBAXmas on ESPN/ABC pic.twitter.com/ba1lxHfaYY- LIVE on ESPN/ABC: LAC@LAL (@NBA) December 26, 2019
The Lakers are currently 21st in the NBA in bench scoring at 34.8 per game, but with Kuzma building confidence in that role off the bench, his production will go a long way to easing the offensive burden on LeBron James and Anthony Davis over the course of the season.
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