LOS ANGELES (AP) – Reggie Jackson isn’t fazed by Los Angeles Clippers games coming down to the wire, especially against their arena co-tenants.
“We just want to give the fans their money’s worth,” he said.
Jackson scored 25 points, including a driving layup with four seconds remaining, and the Clippers held on for a 111-110 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday.
There were four lead changes in the final 30 seconds, including Jackson’s winning basket. Anthony Davis, who led the Lakers with 30 points and 17 rebounds, had a chance to win it but missed a running floater as time expired.
Davis was visibly frustrated afterward and said he watched the shot seven times before going to the interview room.
“The ball touched every part of the rim. You can’t ask for a better look,” said Davis, who had at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in back-to-back games for the seventh time in his career.
“The ball was in, then out. Tough, tough play.”
Marcus Morris Sr led the Clippers with 29 points, while Serge Ibaka added 20 points and nine rebounds. Morris made six three-pointers, including one from the left corner that gave the Clippers a 109-108 advantage with 18 seconds remaining. The Lakers regained the lead on Davis’ dunk before Jackson’s decisive layup.
Jackson – who had 10 points in the final 12 minutes – took the inbounds pass and skipped to the midcourt line. Then he drove down the left side and got past Austin Reaves and Russell Westbrook.
“We’re confident in ourselves, how we play and our approach to the game. We never really got rattled,” Jackson said.
The Clippers have three victories since January 11 when trailing by at least 24 points. But on Thursday they held a 17-point lead with four minutes left in the third quarter before the Lakers started to chip away.
“I thought it was a good chess match back and forth. Coach (Frank) Vogel did a good job trying to keep me off balance,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said.
Malik Monk scored 21 points for the Lakers, and Westbrook had 17. Monk’s three-pointer gave the Lakers a 108-106 lead with 28.1 seconds to go.
The Clippers have won two of their last three to even their record at 27-27. The victory also gave them a one and a half lead over the Lakers for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers trail Denver by over two games for the sixth seed, which would avoid having to take part in the play-in tournament.
The Lakers (25-28), who have played only one game since December 17 with Davis and LeBron James both in the lineup, have dropped four of their last five.
“It’s a tough loss because they are ahead of us,” Davis said. “We have to keep plugging away. There are no moral victories and no one feels sorry for us. We have to find a way.”
The Clippers have won both meetings this season, and 30 of the last 37. They had a six-point advantage at halftime before outscoring the Lakers 24-13 over the first eight minutes of the third quarter to take an 84-67 lead on 10 points from Jackson and eight by Morris.
The Lakers trailed 94-78 in the final minute of the third quarter before rallying with 12 straight points, including six by Westbrook, to get back into the game.
The Clippers were able to push the lead back to 104-97 with 3:27 remaining before the Lakers scored eight straight points, including an 11-foot jumper by Westbrook, to take a 105-104 lead with 63 seconds left.