NBA power rankings 2012: Clippers have firm hold on battle of L.A.

Stephen Dunn

There's never a dull moment in Los Angeles when it comes to the NBA, and both the Lakers and the Clippers are drawing all kinds of attention when it comes to power rankings.

The Staples Center holds the distinction of being the only venue to host two teams in the top 10 of ESPN's power rankings released on Monday.

All the buzz is surrounding the lower-ranked Los Angeles Lakers, who made headlines and heads scratch as the team hired Mike D'Antoni to replace ousted head coach Mike Brown. The Lakers responded by winning their next two games against mediocre opponents and moved to 3-4 on the young season.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have a firm stranglehold on the ongoing battle for Los Angeles behind quality wins against the Lakers and the top-ranked San Antonio Spurs in the first week of the season. The only blemish on their 5-2 record is a bad loss to the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers that exposed some of the team's issues on defense.

The Lakers will face a good litmus test to gauge their development in the post-Mike Brown era, as they take on the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on Tuesday night. The Clippers will square off against the defending champion Miami Heat in a nationally televised game on Wednesday.

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