Despite Clarkson, turnovers lead to the Lakers’ downfall

OAKLAND, Calif. — On Jan. 14, Jordan Clarkson led the Los Angeles Lakers on their final visit to the Bay Area this season as they took on the defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors. Despite leading the Lakers with 22 points, the Lakers fell to the Warriors 116-98 at Oracle Arena.

Clarkson, a 6-foot-5 guard, shot 10 of 17 from the field, while grabbing four rebounds in 36 minutes. Despite being a heavy underdog, Clarkson’s play helped keep the Lakers within three points going into halftime. But in the second half the Lakers, and Clarkson, started turning the ball over.

In total, the Lakers turned the ball more than 21 times and was outscored by the Warriors 64 to 49 in the second half. Clarkson also led the Lakers with four turnovers.

“The difference in the game was that we turned the ball over way too many times,” said Lakers head coach Byron Scott. “When you end up with 21 turnovers against this team, nothing good is going to happen.”

Clarkson concurred, “Our turnovers caught up to us, and they turned the turnovers into points.” Specifically, the Warriors turned those turnovers into 30 fast break points. The Lakers only had eight points off of fast breaks.

Clarkson is in his second season with the Lakers and was averaging 15.1 points per game going into the contest against the Warriors.

After a strong rookie campaign, Clarkson was selected for the NBA All Rookie First Team. The Lakers consider him to be a key piece of their efforts to rebuild their roster and return to playoff contention.

On March 24, 2015, Clarkson made history when he and Jeremy Lin became the first Asian American starting backcourt in NBA history. Clarkson, a 23-year-old native of San Antonio, Texas, is of mixed Filipino and African descent. Lin, now with the Charlotte Hornets, is Taiwanese American.

Clarkson is believed to be the third player of Filipino descent to play in the NBA.

Clarkson was also a part of history in this game against Golden State. This was the final game in the Bay Area for his teammate and Laker guard, Kobe Bryant. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history, Bryant will be retiring after a 20-year NBA career.

Clarkson was drafted in the second round out of Missouri, 46th overall, by the Washington Wizards in 2014. He was later traded to the Lakers for $1.8 million in cash.

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