first_img Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters LOS ANGELES — This image summed up Friday night at Staples Center as well as any: Laker fans quietly, sullenly heading for the exits as the clock wound down, and Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell waving, inviting them to bring the noise they had already forsaken.Such is the weirdness of playing a road game in your home arena, before the opponent’s fans. And such was the effectiveness of the Clippers in the second half, using a 22-0 run to fuel themselves to a 118-107 victory.Yes, twenty-two to nothing.Clippers coach Doc Rivers was looking for a spark, with the Lakers having been the aggressors for most of the first 32 to 34 minutes of the game. He settled on an unusual unit: Patrick Beverley, Harrell and Lou Williams, who are normally part of the second unit, with seldom-used Sindarius Thornwell and Tyrone Wallace. For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory And when you’re on that roll, “when you’re in the moment, you don’t even realize what’s going on,” Williams said.One benefit was obvious as the margin grew and the noise level dipped. Yes, the Clippers used the same dressing room they always use, and yes, they wore home whites – mainly so the Lakers could wear those abysmal pinstriped purple alternate uniforms – but it was the Lakers’ floor, and their tickets to sell … and their fans who went home grumbling.“It’s a momentum changer, a confidence booster, energy, spark,” Thornwell said. “It brings so many different things to the game, especially when you’re away. Now you kill the crowd. You kill the home team’s momentum. Now you’ve kind of got control of the game.”Sometimes this rivalry is strange.“The Lakers, they’ve got the biggest fan base in the league,” Thornwell said after the Clippers won for the 22nd time in their past 25 meetings. “It is what it is. We can’t help that. But we can help what happens between the lines. That’s the only thing we can control.”They did that, certainly. Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates The Lakers, granted, were without LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee again on Friday night. The injured veterans can only do so much to talk the kids through it.“Lack of focus,” Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball said. “I don’t think they were doing too much to force it. I mean, they were (applying pressure), but we were making some dumb passes, dribbling the ball too high and just making careless turnovers.“Teams are going to go on runs. It happens, but a 22-0 run should never happen.”How does it happen?“It snowballs,” Rivers said. “You get a couple steals, you force a couple turnovers, then (the opponent starts) pressing a little bit and all of a sudden the basket gets smaller.”Related Articlescenter_img What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum How seldom is seldom? Thronwell had played in 19 of the Clippers’ first 34 games and averaged 5.9 minutes when he has gotten in. Wallace had played in 20 games and averaged 9.0 minutes. But they provided some stubborn intensity, which was exactly what their team needed.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.“We didn’t have anything; we were flat,” Rivers said. “So we just searched for a lineup. Putting (6-foot-5) Sindarius at four (power forward) … we’ve never done that. With Ty, Sindarius, Pat, Lou and Trez, we basically just put the bulldogs on the floor, and just their defensive fight was amazing. They’re undersized, (but) they rebounded well, they got their hands on the ball, they took them out of their transition game and changed the game for us.”When Thornwell came in, along with Harrell, with 2:35 left in the third quarter, Tyson Chandler was about to make his second free throw to give the Lakers a 77-71 lead. The hosts went ahead 80-73 on a Lance Stephenson 3-pointer with 2:13 left.The next time the Lakers scored, on a Chandler free throw with 9:36 left in the fourth quarter, it was 95-81 Clippers. During that 22-0 run, which spanned just 4:37 of game time, the Clippers made six of eight shots (one of the misses was Avery Bradley’s desperation heave at the end of the third quarter) and 10 of 10 free-throw attempts, and the Lakers were 0 for 5 from the field with six turnovers. In fact, the Lakers extended that drought to 0 for 7 before Josh Hart’s 3-pointer with 8:07 left, a span of more than six minutes between field goals.There seem to have been a rash of these big runs lately, all involving the same three teams. The Clippers survived Wednesday night after giving up 19 straight points to Sacramento in the fourth quarter. The Lakers didn’t survive Thursday night against the Kings, as an 18-4 Sacramento run in the fourth led to a 117-116 loss at the buzzer. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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