In the battle of Los Angeles, the Clippers are in the process of painting the town red and blue. It may be a bit premature to deem them L.A.'s top team, but the Clips just ended a month-long run that’s changed the tenor of the conversation and etched their names into the tablets of NBA history in the process, right alongside their famous neighbors. The Los Angeles Lakers still hold the bragging rights as far as NBA titles, but by going 16-0 in December, the Clippers became the third team ever win-out an entire calendar month, placing them alongside the 1971-72 Lakers and 1995-96 San Antonio Spurs. The Clippers (25-6) capped off their December domination by clipping the Utah Jazz 107-96 on the 30th, and now they rest atop the NBA standings. Now, it’s more important than ever for the Lake Show to keep them at bay in Friday night's matchup.
While Lob City's magnificent run was surely ignited by and largely due to the stellar play of the league’s definitive floor general, Chris Paul, the nightly production has come from the entire team and the team epitomizes the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. The streak began after losing on Nov. 26th to New Orleans, and on any given night Blake Griffin, Caron Butler, Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford, Chauncey Billups, or someone else stepped up to keep the streak alive. They went on to win by 12 points or more in 11 of the 16 games they played in December, and it wasn’t all offense carrying the load.
Coach Vinny Del Negro’s defensive mantra has helped the Clippers lead the NBA in steals whilst sitting in the top three in points against, and while his crew eventually fell to the Denver Nuggets on January 1st, it's done nothing to lower the anticipation of the game that's been marked on everyone’s calendar; streak alive or not. Friday's matchup will mark the second of the season against the in-town rival L.A. Lakers, with the Clips winning in convincing fashion, 105-95, on November 2nd. This time around they'll be the home team at Staples Center; however, they'll have to contend against a rejuvenated Lakers team now led by the masterful Steve Nash.
The Lakers aren’t looking nearly as polished as fans have come to expect from L.A.’s championship factory, but they are just under .500 after riding out two months of drama that was worthy of a Hollywood feature film, and Nash is back to counterstrike Chris Paul’s excellence. While the Clippers certainly boast a stacked squad, the Lakers have a starting lineup that, on paper, looks like an unstoppable juggernaut. With Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard currently operating as the NBA's figurative sleeping giants, this could be the game to wake them up and get them going. The Lakers have won six out of their past seven games, so once again this one is looking like a possible preview of the Western Conference Finals.
If the Clippers want to win their first season series against the Lakers since 1992-93, and for only the second time in 42 years, they’ll need production out of some former Lakers who have switched sides, including Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Matt Barnes, and Ronny Turiaf. Steve Blake, on the other hand, plays for the Lakers and is a past Clipper, but he will be out of this game with an injury. If the Clippers are to start another streak, there would be no one better to kick it off against than the Lakers, and we’ve got plenty of premium Los Angeles Clippers tickets and Los Angeles Lakers tickets to allow you to witness this sensational rivalry game live. Visit the Vivid Seats marketplace now and secure your spot to see the showdown in the Staples Center.