Friday, March 7
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Lakers were the designated home team this time. That meant the Clippers had to put up with looking at all those championship banners and retired numbers that their co-tenant at the Staples Center has had hanging on the wall since the arena opened 15 seasons ago — and weren't able to cover them up with banners of their own players.
Perhaps seeing all those reminders of the Lakers' decades of success will be an inspiration to the Clippers about 6½ weeks from now, when they head into the playoffs without their intracity rivals — who are in danger of finishing with their worst record since moving to L.A. from Minneapolis in 1959.
Blake Griffin had 20 points and 11 rebounds during three thunderous quarters by the Clippers, who routed the Lakers 142-94 Thursday night to extend their winning streak to a season-best six games. It was the most lopsided victory ever for the Clippers' franchise and the most one-sided loss in Lakers history.
"Since Day 1, there's always going to be something to talk about since we both play here in this building. During the game, all the fans were yelling: 'It's still a Laker town.' And it is — no secret," Clippers point guard Chris Paul said. "But we just have to worry about us and keep playing. It's going in the right direction. We don't want to get too high or too low. We just want to try to keep getting better."
Darren Collison had a team-high 24 points while starting at shooting guard for the injured Jamal Crawford. Paul added 13 points and 11 assists for the Clippers, who have won the teams' last two meetings by a combined 84 points.
The previous record for worst loss by a Lakers squad was set on Jan. 9, 1995, when they fell 129-83 at Portland. The previous worst home loss was on Feb. 9, 1960, when Boston beat them 129-90.
"We got beat by 48. It's not fun," Lakers shooting guard Jodie Meeks said. "Regardless of whether it's a record-breaking performance or not, it is still frustrating. It's not fun getting blown out at any level, but especially on national TV and in front of the world. We have to have more pride than that. I do not think the Clippers are 48 points better than us."
The Clippers' have won six of the last seven meetings against their longtime tormentors, including a four-game sweep last season.
"It's another win," Paul said. "I mean, we don't get to subtract a loss from our loss column. This game was more about us and what we do. All we stress in the huddles and the locker room is, don't play the score. We're trying to build something. And whatever group is on the floor, we have to be us. That way it becomes second nature."
The Clippers are 35-98 against the Lakers since moving to Los Angeles from San Diego for the 1984-85 season, including 19-39 during their 15 seasons at Staples Center.
Pau Gasol had 21 points for the Lakers, the home team for the third of four meetings this season between the Staples Center co-tenants. They also faced each other in the season opener, which the Lakers won 116-103.
The Clippers had a 64-33 rebounding advantage and increased their lead in the Pacific Division to 4½ games over Golden State.
The Lakers are one defeat away from clinching the franchise's first losing season since 2004-05 — when newly hired coach Rudy Tomjanovich resigned midway through the team's 34-48 season.
"It's tough to see what's happened to them, because they were my team growing up," said Matt Barnes, one of 31 players who have played for the Clippers and Lakers since they began their intercity rivalry in 1984-85. "But they're an opponent now. We kept our foot on their neck the entire night. They're having a tough season, but that team will always find a way to get back on top."
This one reached blowout proportions early. The Clippers stormed to a 73-40 halftime lead. The arena started emptying after the third quarter ended 109-60.
"It was just a terrible game on our part — turnovers, not getting back defensively and not moving the ball enough," Gasol said. "We did not create plays for each other, and that is how it started to fall apart. But you can't dwell on this game or it will really get you down."
Griffin notched his 36th double-double and is riding a career-best streak of 21 games with 20 or more points.
Crawford (left calf strain) sat out for the third straight game. Forward Jared Dudley (back spasms) missed his first of the season.
Jordan Hill didn't play for the Lakers because of a sore right knee.
NOTES: Griffin is averaging 21.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 51.5 percent from the field in 14 career games against the Lakers. The Clippers have won eight of them. ... Danny Granger, playing his second game with the Clippers after signing as a free agent last Friday, picked up his first three fouls during 2½ minutes early in the second quarter. He finished with 10 points in 19 minutes. ... The season series concludes on April 6 with a nationally televised matinee.