Clippers blowout Lakers in Ball's NBA debut

Saturday, October 21, 2017

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LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The Los Angeles Clippers continued their domination of the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday by routing their cross-town rivals 108-92 and spoiling the NBA debut of second-overall pick, Lonzo Ball.

Blake Griffin had 29 points and 12 rebounds and DeAndre Jordan tallied 14 points and 24 rebounds to lead the Clippers in the season opener for both teams.

The highly touted Ball shot one of six from the floor and finished with just three points in front of a crowd of 19,000 at Staples Center arena.

Ball missed his first three field goal attempts and both free throws before making his only basket, a three-pointer, with 4:49 left in the first half.

Ball didn't collect his first assist until teammate Brook Lopez converted a jumper with 1:29 remaining in the opening half.

Clippers Patrick Beverley had the job of guarding Ball and said he wanted to “welcome his little young ass to the NBA”.

The Clippers led 86-63 after three quarters and led by as many as 30 points in the fourth.

The Clippers have now won 19 of the past 21 meetings over the struggling Lakers franchise since the start of the 2012-13 season. Over the last five seasons, the Clippers have outscored the Lakers by an average of 15.4 points.

Lopez led the Lakers with 20 points, Jordan Clarkson scored 18 off the bench.

Elsewhere, new additions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony joined forces with Russell Westbrook to score a combined 71 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder crushed Anthony's former New York Knicks team 105-84 in their season opener.

“We all play for one another,” said George. “Nobody cares who scores. We are going to enjoy one another and that is what it is all about.”

Westbrook tallied a triple-double with 21 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds. George finished with 28 points while Anthony delivered 22.

Anthony was the last piece added to the retooled Thunder roster. Anthony was the face of his former team but managed to win just one play-off series during his seven seasons with the Knicks.

“It is all good,” he said after Thursday's win. “The most important thing was to get out here and start a new journey. This is a new chapter.”

Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks with 31 points and 12 rebounds. The only other New York player to score in double digits was Enes Kanter, who had 10 points.

In Toronto, Jonas Valanciunas scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, CJ Miles came off the bench to score 22 points and the Toronto Raptors defeated the Chicago Bulls 117-100 in the opening game of the season for each team.




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