(LOS ANGELES) — The Los Angeles Lakers (11-8) played physical on Wednesday night against their Staples Center foe, the Los Angeles Clippers (9-6).
Both teams traded baskets down the stretch, but it was Metta World Peace — aka Ron Artest — who nailed a big three-pointer to give the Lakers a five point lead with 3:30 left to play which capped an 11-4 run by the men in purple and gold.
Kobe Bryant scored 12 of his 24 in the fourth and Pau Gasol added 23 of his own to beat the Clippers, 96-91 and even things up for the series in the early season at one a piece.
“Everybody played with the right attitude, and guys did what they do best,” Bryant said. “They had the right temperament. Everybody did what we do best.”
After the buzzer sounded, Gasol patted the Clippers guard on the head, which led to Paul firing back with some words.
“He touched the top of my head, and I didn’t like that,” said Paul. “You know what I mean. I don’t know if Paul’s got kids, but don’t touch my head like I’m one of your kids. I don’t know what his intentions were, like, ‘I’ll treat him like little Chris.’ I don’t know if he’s got kids, but I’m not one of them.”
The Lakers held Paul to four points and 12 assists. Clippers forward Blake Griffin had a team high of 26 points.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire