The Clippers have won four consecutive games and moved to atop the Pacific Division standings, while the Lakers continue to waffle between excellence and disappointment.
The Los Angeles Clippers headed to Salt Lake City on Monday and escaped with a 105-104 win over the Utah Jazz. Chris Paul fueled a fourth quarter comeback with six points and two assists in the final period, as the Clippers rallied from a 10 point deficit to secure the win. Blake Griffin led the Clippers with a season-high 30 points and added 11 rebounds, while Jamal Crawford chipped in with 20 points off the bench.
Lob City followed up Monday's win with a 112-90 blowout of the Dallas Maverick at Staples Center on Wednesday night. The win, their fourth in a row, gave them sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles (12-6) capitalized on 22 turnovers, dunked all over the overmatched Mavericks and posterized former center Chris Kaman a number of times en route to the win. Griffin led the way for the Clippers again with 19 points and 13 rebounds and Crawford continued his stellar play off the bench, adding 20 points.
The Lakers continued to boggle the mind, splitting back-to-back road games. Tuesday night in Houston, Los Angeles squandered a 39-point performance by Kobe Bryant and were once again hamstrung by the "Hack-A-Howard" method in a 107-105 loss to the Rockets. Dwight Howard went 5-of-10 from the free throw line in the final 3:30 of regulation, as the Rockets overcame a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to walka away with a win.
The Lakers (9-10) bounced back on Wednesday night against the New Orleans Hornets earning a 103-87 win. Kobe Bryant led the way for the Lakers with 29 points and became the fifth player in NBA history to score 30,000 career points, and the youngest to do so. Howard added 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots in the Lakers' second road win of the season.