By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com

As the National Basketball Association heads down the backstretch of their season. With the (49-12) Los Angeles Lakers leading the Western conference they and the (43-19) Clippers met up for the third edition of their matchup this season. With the Clippers winning both of the previous, highly anticipated, meetings the Lakers were out to show themselves and their fans that they can win a game against their cross-hallway rivals.

By dispatching the Eastern Conference-leading (53-11) Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. The Lakers were also seeking to wrap up their most competitive weekend of the season by beating the Clippers, who are arguably the deepest in the NBA. A win against their hallway rivals would provide them some much confidence heading into this stretch of the season.

While the Lakers came into this past Sunday afternoon’s game with the best record in the NBA, the Clippers came into the game with the hottest winning streak of any team in the league by winning 6 games in a row. Furthermore, when they have had the full complement of their team, the Clippers were a perfect 10-0 this season.

I attempted to get either Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers or Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel to admit that this game would be seen at a “statement game” for either team. Doc Rivers told me, “The best statement is to win the game.” Frank Vogel also evaded my question by simply saying, “This is not a statement game.”

This game became fairly chipy and physical early on in the contest. Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers admitted as much when he said Avery Bradley, former Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Clippers, set the tone of the game with his competitiveness and scoring early in the game when he stole the ball from Patrick Beverley; then dunked and had some choice words for him afterward.

In his post-game press conference, Doc said, “I thought maybe the biggest play of the game, that rip on Pat; I thought that gave them confidence!” That momentum carried the Lakers to a 2-point lead at the end of the first quarter. The Clippers rebounded to take a 5 point at the end of the first half. Though that second quarter would be the one and only quarter the Clippers would win in the game on Sunday. Doc River summarized the game in his post-game press conference by saying, “I thought they were the more physical team today. I thought they were into their game plan more today, I thought they trusted each other more offensively today, it is a good lesson for us.”

League MVP candidate Lebron James played a great game and did a masterful job to exploit the weaknesses in the Clippers defense in the second half. Patrick Beverly, one of the defensive instigators for the Clippers, was asked post-game about the challenge of defending the Lebron and made his thoughts very clear by saying there’s “no challenge!” When asked about the chippiness of this game Lakers Forward Kyle Kuzma said he thought, “it was more on them (Clippers).” Kuzma was also asked about the message LeBon James’ play sent, he responded with “MVP. Just MVP. That’s [the message] he sent. You see it and everyone sees it.”

The Clippers still hold the season series 2-1 lead with one more game to play. Though the last game of the series will come on the third night of three consecutive games, being that their originally scheduled matchup was postponed due to the unfortunate, untimely death of Laker legend Kobe Bryant.

After spearheading the Lakers win over the Bucks and the Clippers this past weekend, do you have the Lakers as the favorite to win the NBA Championship and Lebron as the Favorite for winning league’s MVP? Kindly share your thoughts with us by simply commenting in the comment section of this article on www.whatsgoodinsports.com or by following me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport for immediate engagement. Additionally, subscribe to our weekly “Voice of the Fans Podcast” which is available for you on most podcasting platforms, Apple and Google Podcasts including Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio. As always, we certainly appreciate you for making our voice your choice!