Lakers rally past Clippers

A sneak-peek at tomorrow’s game story …

Standing in one corner, wearing red, white and blue, the upstart Clippers.

Standing in the other corner, wearing gold and purple, the struggling Lakers.

Most seasons the Battle of Los Angeles has been nothing of the sort.

The Clippers and Lakers went at it like bickering neighbors Wednesday night at Staples Center, battling as if something more than just bragging rights were at stake in the second of three Hallway Series matchups this season.

It looked and sounded more like the playoffs in May or June than a regular-season game in January as the Lakers rallied for a 96-91 victory. The visiting Clippers led for most of the game in search of their second consecutive victory over the Lakers.

“It got chippy out there,” coach Mike Brown said after the Lakers (11-8) ended a three-game losing streak overall with their 10th victory in 12 home games. “It was good to see our guys respond.”

Kobe Bryant put the Lakers ahead for good 81-80 with a jump shot with 5 minutes, 2 seconds left in the game. He rallied the Lakers by scoring 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, and also had four rebounds and three assists in the final period.

Pau Gasol scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half and grabbed a team-leading 10 rebounds and Andrew Bynum had 19 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots. Bynum’s dunk with 32.8 seconds left sealed the deal, giving the Lakers a 91-87 lead.