Starting 5: L.A. Story


Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1: Clippers town

Harry How/Getty Images/ZimbioDid the Clippers surpass the Lakers in one night? No. Not at all. Los Angeles is still a Lakers town.

The Clippers though made a big statement on national television once again in holding the Lakers off and earning at least a season split with their cross-hall rival since 2010 (and one came in the final game of the season, you have to go back to 2007).

The Clippers are catching up to the Lakers in the winning department. Maybe not in championships, but certainly in the standings or in consistency.

Chris Paul has that effect on teams.

Paul scored 30 points on 11-for-25 shooting with 13 assists and Blake Griffin had 24 points to lead the Clippers to a 107-102 win at Staples Center — the Clippers version — on Friday. The Clippers had an 87-71 lead at the end of three quarters and held off the Lakers in the fourth quarter.

Kobe Bryant's 38 points on 15-for-25 shooting was not enough. The Lakers had five players in double figures, but shooting 6 for 25 from beyond the arc doomed the Lakers in the end.

Now the Clippers are in control of the building and in the Pacific Division.

2: Last second magic

Rob Carr/Getty Images/ZimbioFriday also some pretty incredible finishes.

First, Andray Blatche made his return to Washington and got booed pretty handily (amnesty be damned!). Then Joe Johnson hit a runner with 0.7 seconds left in double overtime to give the Nets a 115-113 win.

Blatche had 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench and Brook Lopez had 27 points and 13 rebounds. Deron Williams had 24 points as the Nets rallied for the win and won in overtime.

Washington though has to be pretty upset though with another great effort. Jordan Crawford had 23 points and Bradley Beal had 24 points. The Wizards gave themselves a chance. This hard-on-their-luck team just had another bad break. That is what happens to bad teams.

In Cleveland, another young team got a good break.

Kyrie Irving hit a shot with one second left for a 106-104 win over Charlotte. Irving scored 33 points in addition to that game winner, the fourth of his career.

Ben Gordon had 27 points for the Bobcats who got back into the game with a 30-20 fourth quarter. Charlotte just had another tough loss. The Bobcats have still won only one game since hitting seven in November. That is rough for this franchise.

Another bad break for a struggling team.


Kevin Garnett goes crowd surfing

Russell Westbrook's radio ball

Chandler Parsons full-court pass to James Harden

4: Line of the Night: DeMarcus Cousins — 31 points, 20 rebounds

Cousins had quite the game in Sacramento's 105-96 win at Toronto, cooling off the previously hot Raptors. Since Cousins returned from his suspension, Cousins is averaging 19.4 points per game and 14.0 rebounds per game. Sacramento has won three of those five games too. Maybe Cousins got what he needed.

5:  You can quote me on that

Joe Johnson came to the rescue.

Deron Williams

Those moments I live for. I just read the defense. Obviously, he's taller than me, but that's still not going to stop me from getting where I need to go. I just created space and shot my midrange pull-up.

Kyrie Irving

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily