Clippers stay on road to playoffs at Lakers' expense

LeBron James reached his points milestone during his LA Lakers match against the Denver Nuggets.                  AFP  Robert Laberge

LeBron James reached his points milestone during his LA Lakers match against the Denver Nuggets. AFP Robert Laberge

Lou Williams leads the way for the Clippers with 19.8 points and 5.4 assists per game. The Lakers' record now sits at 30-34, 4.5 games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The luxury of losing more than six games would be fatal and would leave the Lakers out of the NBA Playoffs.

The 6-foot-1 defensive ace was happy to go head-to-head against the four-time MVP, feeling that he had something to prove after the Miami Heat cut him in 2010 upon James' arrival.

"I know how much work Kuz puts into taking care of his body & just trying to be available to his teammates".

The play, which happened late in the fourth quarter as the LA Clippers were putting the finishing touches on a 113-105 win over the Lakers, symbolized the latest encounter between the teams. The best player of his generation had reached the NBA Finals for the last eight straight years and there was nobody better prepared to turn the Lakers' young core into a playoff team. "Everyone has been talking about the postseason, (but) we should be anxious about each and every game and how we can continue to get better with our process and get better with our team".

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Monday's win over the Lakers moved the Clippers up to seventh in the Western Conference. Zubac, however, received 14 minutes on the court and used them to score seven points and four rebounds.

Now, LeBron James has assessed the ongoing season and has confirmed that the injuries that have plagued the Lakers have had a big say in their standing this season. Luke Walton also held LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Josh Hart out of practice, though more for rest purposes after each carried a heavy load in Monday's loss to the Clippers. Who saw that coming when LeBron James joined the team?

"Whether you have him first, second, third or 10th all-time on your personal ranking, it's not really going to change anything", Ellis said of James missing the playoffs.

The 23-year-old will definitely miss the Denver Nuggets' visit to Staples Center on Wednesday and may also be sidelined for the showdowns with the Boston Celtics on Saturday and the Chicago Bulls next Tuesday.

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