- Created on Friday, 04 January 2013 20:39
LOS ANGELES (AP)
Bryant carried the Lakers in the fourth quarter when they closed to 99-97 on his 23-foot jumper with 1:29 left. But Paul scored the Clippers' final eight points to seal the victory and drop the Lakers two games below .500. The Clippers lead the Lakers by 10 games in the standings.
The Lakers continue to struggle under new coach Mike D'Antoni. They've lost three of their last four games.
The Clippers shot 50 percent and dominated the paint, 52-36.
Bryant scored 16 points in the fourth, when the Lakers rallied from 19 points down. The Clippers fouled for much of the final 5:51. Howard missed two free throws but then made two to get the Lakers within four before Bryant's jumper left them trailing 99-97.
The Lakers got within three early in the third only to have the Clippers push their lead to 10 points. It was a similar situation in the second, when the Lakers got within five points on Bryant's 3-pointer before the Clippers ran their lead back to 10 points by halftime.
The Clippers had dropped two consecutive road games earlier in the week, when their 17-game winning streak was snapped.
Clippers F Jamal Crawford missed the game with a sore left foot that he hurt in Denver. ... Clippers G Chauncey Billups will start working out Saturday after being out most of the season recovering from surgery.
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