In lieu of the regular season, Laker Nation has decided to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise. We understand that it’s not the basketball you may have been hoping for, but for the time being, it’s the closest we’ll get to reading about the Lakers on a basketball court.
NOVEMBER 24, 1984
LA CLIPPERS 103 – LA LAKERS 108
AN LA RIVALRY BEGINS
For the first time since the franchise moved from San Diego at the end of the 1983-84 season, the Clippers were playing the Los Angeles Lakers in a home game – except this home game was different from their usual matches, whether they be in Buffalo or San Diego. Half of the arena was coated in Laker fans, not from fair-weather fans, but because the game was played at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. In front of a packed crowd of 14,991 in Los Angeles on November 24th, the Clippers played their first cross-town rivalry game against the Lakers as the Clippers had begun to settle in the season after moving the franchise.
Despite committing 26 turnovers, the Lakers would outrebound and outshoot the Clippers, finishing the game 108-103 with a win. James Worthy would score a game-high 27 points, with teammates Magic Johnson and Byron Scott chipping in 17 points each. In a closer game than expected, the Lakers would lead by only four with 57 seconds remaining, but dunks by both Johnson and Worthy would seal the victory.
While the LA rivalry had a great start in terms of fan support, the results on the court have been more than lopsided. In their 27 years sharing the city, the Lakers hold a 141-48 head-to-head advantage over the Clippers. The Lakers have made the postseason 25 times since 1984, winning eight NBA championships and missing only two years. The Clippers, by contrast, have made the postseason four times since 1984, only making it to the second round once in 2006. While the past has not been indicative of what fans could call a “rivalry”, LA basketball fans can hope that the emergence of Clippers star Blake Griffin will lead to some much closer contests in the future.
Quote of the Night: “This was a game that reeked of intensity. You could feel it everywhere. That’s the way the game is meant to be played. I wish we could have more regular-season games with this much intensity.” – Former Lakers coach Pat Riley on the playing atmosphere during a 108-103 win against the newly-settled Los Angeles Clippers. – From the LA Times, Nov. 25, 1985