The Clippers handed the Lakers their worst defeat in franchise history on Thursday, and one 20-second span from the third quarter perfectly summed up the historic night for both sides.
En route to a dominating 142-94 victory, the Clippers pulled out some "Lob City" fireworks late in the third quarter. Already holding a 102-56 lead, Chris Paul took off in transition with Blake Griffin, his All-Star partner-in-highlights, by his side. Paul finished the four-on-one fast break opportunity by lofting a scoop pass to Griffin, who came charging down the left wing to complete the alley-oop dunk with a one-handed spike finish.
As Griffin admired his handiwork and the Staples Center crowd cheered, TNT's cameras cut to Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, who looked slightly less than pleased with the 48-point deficit.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak reacts to a dunk by Clippers forward Blake Griffin. (TNT)
The Clippers would go on to win by that same 48-point margin, which marked the biggest victory in their franchise history. The 48-point defeat also stands as the Lakers' largest margin of defeat, eclipsing a 46-point loss to the Blazers in Portland on Jan. 9, 1995.
There was no doubt that the Clippers were trying to make a statement against their crosstown rivals.
''Since Day 1, there's always going to be something to talk about since we both play here in this building," Paul said, according to the Associated Press. During the game, all the fans were yelling: "It's still a Laker town.' And it is - no secret. 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.''
Griffin tallied 20 points (on 8-for-12 shooting), 11 rebounds and seven assists, marking the 21st straight game he has scored at least 20 points. Paul finished with 13 points (on 6-for-12 shooting) and 11 assists, while Darren Collison scored a game-high 24 points (on 9-for-16 shooting) in the win.
Pau Gasol led the Lakers with a team-high 21 points (on 8-for-15 shooting) and seven rebounds. Xavier Henry added 15 points (on 5-for-10 shooting), five rebounds and three assists in a losing effort.
The Clippers' sixth straight victory improved their record to 43-20 and increased their lead over the rest of the Pacific Division to 4.5 games.
The Lakers' second straight loss dropped their record to 21-41, which is the worst in the Western Conference. The Lakers' 0.339 winning percentage stands as the franchise's worst since the team relocated to Los Angeles from Minneapolis in 1960.