Mendoza: Lakers, Clippers make city blessed

·2 min read

If the Los Angeles Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis to lean on, the Los Angeles Clippers have their backs covered by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

The City of Angels is blessed, I can tell you that.

But while the Lakers have a 2-1 edge over the Phoenix Suns in their NBA first round playoffs, the Clippers stare at a 1-2 deficit against the Dallas Mavericks.

Stumbling and huffing to drop a 99-90 Game 1 loss, the Lakers regrouped in their next outing to snatch a 112-109 victory to equalize.

Gaining momentum, the Lakers played energized in stashing away a 106-93 Game 3 win. Would not a 3-1 Los Angeles lead imminent after Monday’s pivotal Game 4?

Yes, I guess.

Chris Paul, Phoenix’s brightest sun, never shone in Game 3, hobbled by an injury in which relief isn’t forthcoming.

Meanwhile, Davis continued his fiery streak with a second straight 34 points for a 68-point total the last two games.

I don’t expect him to slow down, especially so that James always keeps him tirelessly on his toes with an overdose of assists at every opportunity.

That’s practically what George and Leonard did in Game 3, combining in mightily turning things around to avoid a crippling 3-0 hole for the Clippers.

And so, I won’t take it back.

Truly, Ty Lue the coach and George the joker were kidding when they said they “weren’t concerned” after the Clips absorbed a 2-0 deficit on Wednesday.

The 118-108 Game 3 win on Saturday was even extra special as it came after the Clippers rallied from 19 points, 30-11.

Scoring in spurts, George and Leonard blazed a 20-4 blast, allowing the Mavs a manageable 34-31 first quarter lead.

And after the Clippers finally went ahead at 45-44 on a three by George at the 6:49 mark of the second quarter, there was no looking back from there.

To prove they meant business, the Clippers shot 61 percent from the field in taking a 63-61 halftime margin, with George scoring 22 first-half points and Leonard 18 on 9-of-10 shooting.

Who cared that Mav Luka Doncic fired 26 of his game-high 44 points in the first half?

With Leonard unloading 36 points and George 29 for a total of 65, who needs Doncic’s hot hands?

Clipper Curse gone — for now, at least.

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