first_imgAnd on Friday, the Lakers seemed to be saddled by a lack of effort. They were lazy and lackadaisacal, and Pau Gasol – whom the team tried to trade last weekend – was one of the worst offenders. The Lakers could’ve done this bad without Gasol, too.From the opening tip, the Clippers dominated en route to a 123-87 rout over the Lakers on Friday. Blake Griffin had a monster first quarter in which he scored 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He also had three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one blocked shot.He was all over the court making all sorts of plays to lead the Clippers to a 70-point first-half scoring onslaught. How times have changed. “It was a long, time ago,” Griffin said. “Both teams are in different positions, obviously. We definitely remembered. They hit 14 3s on us. Their bench scored 76 points and 11 of those 3s were uncontested 3s. We just didn’t play well. That was a focal point for us, to not get relaxed.”The Clippers have gotten in on the injury party. Chris Paul is out for an extended period of time with his shoulder injury, but they got J.J. Redick back after he’d been out for a month with wrist/hand injuries. Even though Paul runs the Clippers show, the Clippers can carry on just fine without him. This was a chance for Griffin to shine, and DeAndre Jordan to dunk and the Lakers to just wallow in their misery.And boy, they were miserable, making just 2 of 20 shots in the third quarter. The Lakers have Saturday off and will return for practice Sunday.Asked what he told the Lakers, as if there’s much to say after that, Mike D’Antoni said: “Keep your head up, fight and come back Sunday (ready to practice).” The Lakers certainly wouldn’t be accused of playing any defense. They didn’t guard Redick on the outside, and they didn’t defend the paint (see Griffin doing whatever he wanted in the first quarter)Oh, and the Lakers scored a season-low eight points in the third quarter, and were trailing 101-60 at that time. Lakers fans had seen enough and exited with about six minutes left. Clippers fans had seen enough, too.There’s not much to be done to heal these wounds. Paul was on the Clippers bench, standing up and barking orders before a jump ball in the second quarter. He geniunely looked upset about something that’s not right, even though his team is on the right track and the Lakers are mired in an awful slump in which they’ve lost 10 of the last 11 games. Bryant joined the Lakers bench for the second half – as if there was a good time to watch – and was resting his hand over his mouth for much of it. Surely a cover for words that shouldn’t be translated by lip readers. Can’t blame him. This is a trainwreck. Asked the day before if there was a light at the end of the tunnel, D’Antoni said: “There’s a light. Could be a train coming.”Ouch. The Lakers are about to go on an extended roadtrip of seven games starting on Wednesday. You think anyone wants to see that show on the road?Actually, people surely love to check out this version of the Lakers, the once-proud organization that is stymied in a debacle of a season. The Clippers are a different story. They might not have much depth on the bench with injuries, but they play hard, smart and they’re entertaining to watch. They’re a playoff team. The Lakers are not. How things have changed since these teams last played. The Lakers were so bad Friday. From effort to execution to everything.The Lakers won 116-103 the previous time these teams played. The Clippers nearly put the worst hurt on the Lakers in the history of the series.My how things have changed. The Clippers and Lakers were here not too long ago, and my how things have changed. The last time they played – Oct. 29 – the Lakers actually won that game. Remember those days when the Lakers used to win games?The Lakers are now riddled with injuries, not just to Kobe Bryant but Steve Nash and Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar, and the inability to play defense. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img