Clippers win opening night LA derby, spoil Lakers’ ring ceremony

Clippers win opening night LA derby, spoil Lakers' ring ceremony
Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers passes around Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the season opening game at Staples Center on Dec. 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Luisa Morales ( – December 23, 2020 – 2:21pm

MANILA, Philipines — The joy brought about by the ring ceremony of defending champions Los Angeles Lakers was quickly soured after absorbing a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, 116-109 at the Staples Center on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).

The second game of the new NBA season's opening day saw Clippers duo Paul George and Kawhi Leonard get the best of Anthony Davis and LeBron James to send the Lakers to a losing start in their title defense.

The Clippers had control of the game from the get-go leading by as much as 22 early in the first half.

While a huge second quarter brought the Lakers to within two of the Clippers, 54-56, they just couldn't sustain the momentum in the second half and eventually fell to their city rivals.

George topscored for the Clippers with a game-high 33 points with three assists and six rebounds.

Kawhi Leonard, for his part, tallied 26 points, three assists and two boards.

Clippers newcomer Serge Ibaka chipped in with 15 points in his first official game for the LA squad.

Meanwhile, James tallied 22 points, five rebounds and five assists in his first game in his 18th season in the NBA.

Davis contributed with 18 markers in the losing effort.

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