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2012 NBA standings: Clippers rise to the top, Lakers continue to fall in Pacific Division

After winning eight straight, the Clippers are atop the Pacific Division standings, while the struggling Lakers trail by seven games.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

While the Lakers hog the headlines in Los Angeles with meltdowns, failure and disappointment, the Clippers are quietly making it abundantly clear that they are the best team in the City of Angels. And it's not even close.

The Clippers (16-6) have won eight straight games, their longest winning streak in 21 seasons, and have a one-game lead in the Pacific Division standings over the upstart Golden State Warriors. Making the streak even more impressive is the fact that the team's last four victories came in a brutal stretch of four games in five nights. They sit in the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference standings behind the Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Lakers (9-13) are headed in the opposite direction. Mike D'Antoni's ballyhooed roster has lost three games in a row, and the Lakers find themselves in third place in the Pacific, and in 12th place in the Western Conference. The team has been horrendous on the road, posting a 2-7 record, have lost five of their last six games, and with games against the tough New York Knicks, improving Washington Wizards and the hard-nosed Philadelphia 76ers remaining on the current road trip, it would appear that things will get worse before they get better.

The full Pacific Division standings appear below:

Pacific Standings

Los Angeles Clippers 16 6 .727 0 Won 8
Golden State 15 7 .681 1 Won 5
Los Angeles Lakers 9 13 .409 7 Lost 3
Phoenix 8 15 .347 8.5 Won 1
Sacramento 7 14 .333 8.5 Lost 2

(updated 12.13.2012 at 9:46 AM PST)