LOS ANGELES -- When Byron Scott was asked before the game if the Lakers and Clippers are rivals, he shook his head. "You can't have a rivalry until both teams are competing for championships," Scott said.
By that definition, he's right. While the Clippers are a contender for a championship this season, the Lakers look destined for the draft lottery for the second year in a row.
Nothing drove home the chasm that exists between both teams more than Wednesday's night's 114-89 win by the Clippers. It was the fifth straight win for the Clippers over the Lakers and ninth in their past 10 meetings. Before their first meeting this season, the Clippers had beaten the Lakers by an average margin of 35.5 points in their previous three meetings, which proved to be in the ballpark for most of Wednesday's game as the Clippers went up by as many as 43 points before emptying the bench.
Surprise of the night: The Lakers had been competitive in their previous 10 games, beating the Warriors and nearly beating the Blazers and Grizzlies. It looked as if they had maybe turned a corner after Kobe Bryant took three games off and became more of a facilitator upon his return. A blowout of this magnitude against a Clippers team that had been struggling of late was unexpected.
Relentless moment of the night: After the first quarter, Fergie, who was sitting courtside alongside Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, got up and performed "L.A.LOVE (la la)" and was joined on the court by several spectators, flash-mob style. While Fergie performed her song, Ballmer danced, well, as only Ballmer can.
Stat of the night: Bryant had averaged close to a triple-double since taking a week off to rest, but against the Clippers he had just four points on 2-of-12 shooting and missed his first eight shots. He did, however, finish with eight rebounds, seven assists and six turnovers, so he was technically close to another triple-double.
Players of the night: Chris Paul, who had promised to be more aggressive, had 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting with 11 assists. Blake Griffin added 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists while DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 13 rebounds.