Clippers race past Lakers in battle of L.A.

Clippers never trail in easy victory over the Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers got ran out of the gym against their crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers 104-86 in the battle of Los Angeles Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center.

The Clippers raced out to a 13-2 lead to start the game and led wire-to-wire, growing that advantage to as many as 24 points in the second half.

Without their top two players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers once again struggled to create shots offensively, shooting just 40 percent from the floor and 7 of 23 (30.4 percent) from beyond the arc.

Swingman Marcus Morris Sr. led the charge, with 17 of his game-high 22 points in the first half.

With the win, the Clippers snapped a two-game home losing streak; they also won the earlier matchup of the season between the two L.A. teams, a seven-point Clipper victory in the season opener.

Kawhi Leonard totaled 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Paul George contributed 16 points and seven rebounds, while Luke Kennard chipped in 15 for the Clippers.

Montrezl Harrell paced the Lakers with 19 points and six rebounds. Talen Horton-Tucker added 16 points.

James has been out two weeks nursing a right, high-ankle sprain suffered on March 20 against the Atlanta Hawks. The Lakers are 3-6 without James in the lineup.

Anthony Davis has missed a total of 27 games this season, the last 22 due to a right calf strain. The two superstars remain out indefinitely.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said both players will travel on his team’s five-game road swing, starting Tuesday at Orlando.

Originally expected to miss a month, Davis has already been out seven weeks. However, Vogel said there’s been no setback in Davis’ recovery and the team is just making sure to ramp Davis back up at the right pace.

Rajon Rando took the floor for the first time since joining the Clippers in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks last week.

Rajon has been working his way back from right abductor soreness. The Clippers held a practice on Saturday, giving head coach Tyronn Lue and opportunity to see how Rondo meshes with the rest of the team.

“He’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever coached,” said Vogel about Rondo, who helped the Lakers win an NBA title last season. “He’s got a great lens one what’s happening with our group. He has a great BS meter, and he’ll call it out with guys, to make sure guys are going about their business the right way.”

With the win, the Clippers improved to 33-18 on the year, while the Lakers dropped to 31-19 overall.

Top player: Center Marc Gasol played well offensively, finishing with 11 points on 3 of 3 shooting from the 3-point line.

What I liked: The Lakers got 44 points from the bench on a day where the starters struggled to put the ball in the basket.

What I didn’t like: The Lakers turned it over 18 times, and the Clippers scored 15 points off those turnovers. The Clippers outrebounded the Lakers 54-45.

Injuries: Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said Wesley Matthews (neck strain) and center Andre Drummond (bruised right big toe) will miss Sunday’s game against the Clippers and remain day-to-day. Vogel said doctors are being cautious with Matthews after having a neck injury two games in a row. “He’s still having trouble putting his shoe on the first two days through it,” Vogel said about Drummond’s toe. “He’s just not there yet. He’s still in a great deal of discomfort, and we want to make sure this thing gets behind him.”

They said it: “They have a unique symmetry with one another, obviously not only being brothers and identical twins, but they really share a lot of things in their life. It’s just a special relationship, so this will be a fun game for the Morris family.” – Vogel on Lakers’ Markieff Morris and Clippers’ Marcus Morris Sr. in the starting lineup and facing each other. The two brothers have faced each other 17 times. Markieff Morris lead the series, 11-6.