x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

NBA: Lakers continue to struggle after defeat to Clippers

Steve Nash watched from the sidelines as his teammates crashed to their third defeat of the week, while James Harden scored a career-high points total for new side Houston.

The Los Angeles Lakers' difficult start to the season continued as Steve Nash was forced to watch from the sidelines while his teammates were defeated 105-95 by city rivals the Los Angeles Clippers.

Chris Paul had 18 points and 15 assists, Jamal Crawford scored 21 points as the Clippers handed their Staples Center co-tenants their third consecutive defeat to start the season.

Nash sat out with a bruised left leg for the Lakers, who have followed up their 0-8 preseason with three losses in four days.

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points and Dwight Howard had 13 points and eight rebounds while battling constant foul trouble for the Lakers, who are 0-3 for the first time since 1978 and just the fourth time in franchise history.

Just three games into his three-year contract with Los Angeles, the two-time MVP had to sit out, leaving Blake in his spot in the starting line-up.

The result enabled the Clippers to end a nine-game "away" losing streak against their rivals dating to April 2007.

While the Clippers celebrated, the pro-Lakers crowd reacted to another loss with angry shouts piercing the silence, much of it profane criticism of coach Mike Brown and his new Princeton-based offence.

Meanwhile James Harden's stunning start to his career with Houston continued with a career-high points return in the NFL match against Atlanta.

Just two nights after Harden poured in 37 points on his debut to set up victory over the Detroit Pistons, the 23-year-old recruit from Oklahoma City Thunder went eight better with 45 in the Rockets' 109-102 win over the Hawks.

Russell Westbrook ensured Oklahoma did not miss their former guard, with 32 points in the 109-92 defeat of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Kemba Walker scored a career-high 30 points as Mike Dunlap's coaching debut with the Charlotte Bobcats saw them snap a 23-game losing streak with a 90-89 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Carmelo Anthony's 30 points helped the New York Knicks defeat the Miami Heat 104-84, while the Chicago Bulls saw off the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-86 in a game where no player topped 20 points.

Glen Davis' 29 points helped the Orlando Magic see off the Denver Nuggets 102-89, while the Milwaukee Bucks won 99-88 at the Boston Celtics.

Jose Barea led the scoring with 21 points in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 92-80 win over the Sacramento Kings, while the New Orleans Hornets beat the Utah Jazz 88-86.

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