Los Angeles Lakers lost to Los Angeles Clippers in the city’s derby and their Playoffs qualification is in danger. Controversy, delays, turnovers and shots at the end were the condiments of an unmissable duel between two great franchises of the National Basketball Association.
By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).
The Los Angeles Clippers once again demonstrated their superiority over the Los Angeles Lakers by winning their sixth straight city derby 105-102.
The Lakers, who were down by 16 points in the first half, came back and had the game in their hands, but the same old thing happened.
Mistakes and late-game chaos finished them off and they suffered their fourth loss in the last five games, are ninth in the Western Conference and, with a 27-32 record, are five games below 50 percent.
To add to the headaches, it appears that LeBron James and Russell Westbrook had to be separated by a physical altercation in the locker room. Playoffs in jeopardy? That would be a shame.
BREAKING: Lakers stars LeBron James and Russell Westbrook had to be separated after a physical altercation following a frustrating loss against the Clippers, sources tell @FOXSports and @BallsackSports. More on this story later.
— Robert Buchanan (@RobBuchananFOX) February 26, 2022
The ending was as exciting as it was long: the final 26 seconds lasted 20 minutes of real time between timeouts and play reviews by the referees on Instant Replay.
With 26 seconds left, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue called for a play review. After the referees watched the action for nearly 10 minutes, they decided that LeBron James had stepped off the court.
— Realistic CLIPPERS fan (@CLIPPER36858064) February 26, 2022
They also corrected a non-existent foul by Talen Horton-Tucker on Reggie Jackson and, after another challenge, this time by Lakers coach Frank Vogel, his opponent committed an eight-second violation by not passing up court in that time and the ball went back to the Lakers.
A show that contributed to the derby atmosphere that was experienced in Los Angeles and something that is not found in all National Basketball Association duels.
Clippers have Hartenstein on Melo which is fine until Melo screens for LeBron. Don't want to give the switch, Hartenstein stays in a drop and that's a pop for Melo. Have to be aware to your personnel. No man's land. pic.twitter.com/lRREI9HVDR
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) February 26, 2022
LeBron was again the best of his team with a short double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook added 18 units to the scoreboard and Dwight Howard, who started in the absence of Anthony Davis, signed his personal double-double of 14 points and 16 rebounds.
For the Clippers, the best was Terance Mann, who scored 19 points, Luke Kennard, who scored 18, and Amir Coffey, who added 12 of the 14 he scored in the last quarter.
The timing of Coffey’s scoring must be detailed because the last half was key. The Lakers had come from behind and it looked like they would get the long-awaited win this time.
Good soft double by the clippers…Lebron made the right pass…I doubt he expected Melo to shoot a 30 footer with 10 seconds on the clock pic.twitter.com/Ae8AxVAja9
— JP – The Wholesome Truth Teller (@jay_pea619) February 26, 2022
When they had a chance to close the score in Carmelo’s hands, the forward missed a three-pointer with four seconds left.
The Clippers’ rebound ended in free throws for Jackson, who put three definitive points on the scoreboard.
When the game was ending and the buzzer was about to sound, LeBron shot a three-pointer, but missed again a three-pointer that would have meant overtime.
LeBron had a chance to tie the game late but missed the attempt.
The Clippers get their 6th straight win vs. the Lakers. pic.twitter.com/IdxzH7yyLe
— ESPN (@espn) February 26, 2022