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L.A. Story: Clippers claim top spot as Lakers continue free fall

The Clippers are on top and the Lakers are once again dangerously close to the bottom -- haven't we heard this story already?

For yet another week, it's the same show out of Los Angeles as the Clippers continue to be the toast of the NBA while their neighbors continue to spiral out of control, unable to solve this season's riddle. The Clips bounced back from their two-game skid with a 3-0 week, which included a win over the Lakers, who have now dropped five straight and suffered even bigger setbacks off the floor with the indefinite losses of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.

The Clippers can no longer be treated like just a cute little story out of Los Angeles. As we approach the midpoint of the season, it's become clear that there's been a complete role reversal in Los Angeles. The Clippers are the definitive headliners. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers have been reduced to the opening acts. It's a harsh reality, but this is Hollywood, what did you expect?

The Lakers tumble to No. 19 in this week's Power Rankings. But they aren't the only ones to fall, as the Hawks slid six spots to No. 14 after an 0-4 week. Meanwhile, the Celtics, Pacers and Trail Blazers are among the teams to rise.

(Note: All statistics and records arethrough Jan. 10.)

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