Former Los Angeles Lakers Lou Williams and Wesley Johnson have plenty of reason to come out on top of their former team as the L.A. Clippers take them on at home tonight.
The battle for L.A. is as real as it gets with the Clippers trying to pull out of the shadows and the Lakers hoping to regain the stature they once had as one of the league’s premiere franchises.
“It’s a big deal — on both sides,” Williams; who spent a season and a half with the Lakers, said laughing, according to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. “I’ve been in the Lakers’ locker room when it’s time to play the Clippers and it’s a different environment versus when you play other teams. And I’ve been in the locker room with the Clippers’ organization and it’s a different environment versus when you play other teams. So it’s a real thing.”
Johnson doubled down on his teammate’s comments, noting his team’s intent wasn’t only a mere victory.
“I think this side wants it more, because we want to prove a point,” Johnson said. “And that’s blow them out. We’re playing for something, and they’re not — plain and simple.”
The Clippers drew first blood in the 2017-18 season-opener with a convincing 108-92 win over the Lakers as the visiting team, but they’ll do so this time without point guard Patrick Beverley, who was ruled out for the season.
“It’s always fun,” Williams said. “Hopefully it gets a little chippy. Get your money’s worth.”
“We’ve been in a rut, so to have won two in a row, especially on the way home, it was big for us to have these last two go our way on the road,” Williams said. “And now we have a couple at home and we’re trying to get this thing back on track.”
The Clippers have won their last two after being mired in a nine-game skid, looking for a third straight win in convincing fashion after playing eight of their last nine games on the road.