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Clippers defeating Lakers gives them more than popularity

Chris Paul & Doc Rivers
Chris Paul & Doc Rivers
Andrew D. Bernstein/ Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers pulled away in the second half, and defeated the depleted Los Angeles Lakers 120-97 on Sunday at Staples Center.

Although it was considered a Clippers home game, there were many Lakers fans on hand going back and forth with other Clipper fans, cheering for their teams.

Chris Paul finished with 23 points and 6 assist in the victory.

After Paul was booed at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day, he understood no matter how well the Clippers do, Los Angeles is a Lakers town.

The Clippers won the season series against the Lakers 3-1, and the victory allowed them to wrap up their second consecutive Pacific Division title.

Los Angeles is a city of winners, yet the past two season the Clippers have improved and outshined the Lakers when it came to winning.

Paul is a stable of Los Angeles, and has embraced the city as his new home, yet some fans have not. Paul is a top 5 point guard in the NBA, and the best point guard in the city. Paul is friends with the likes of Dodgers' outfielders Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford.
Tommy Lasorda and Don Mattingly have been seen at games, along with Stan Kasten who is good friends with coach Doc Rivers.

DeAndre Jordan finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds, sounded off about the Lakers/Clippers rivalry.

"In my rookie year when we were 19-63, we were trying to beat the Lakers," Jordan said. "As the culture has changed with this organization, we're thinking about the bigger picture now. ... We won all four games against them last year and were out of the playoffs in the first round."

Jordan also expressed his thoughts regarding the non support from some Los Angeles fans, "they're just jealous that he's not with the Lakers. We don't care. Our goal isn't for Lakers fans to like us. I'm glad that they hate us."

The Lakers faught hard in the first half but when injuries hit Kent Bazemore, who left the game with a severe sprained foot, all hope seemed to be lost for the Lakers.

Nick Young and Jordan Hill remained the top scorers for the team, however late in the third quarter Young also left the game with a serious knee bruise. Young finished with 18 points, and Hill finished with 22 points, and 9 rebounds.

With the Dodgers and Lakers winning numerous titles since arriving in Los Angeles over five decades ago, it's extremely difficult to have a lot of city wide fan support for the emerging Clippers.

The organization has turned the culture around, and coach Doc Rivers also made one thing clear about the city and the mindset of the Clippers.

"This will always be a Lakers town," said Rivers. "We're not trying to win L.A., we're trying to win the NBA. If we win L.A. and don't win a championship in the NBA, we haven't been very successful."

This is a different Clippers team, different organization with a different mindset. Continuing to stay focused and win the next game. This team has remained poised, and Blake Griffin who scored 23 points, and 7 rebounds summed it up best.
"It is a special game with them [Lakers] being right down the hallway. But it doesn't really mean that much to us."

The Clippers must now turn their attention to the Oklahoma City Thunder who arrive on Wednesday. Clippers are still eyeing that number 2 seed in the West and could have a great opportunity of achieving that goal.

*Sir Paul McCartney and singer Akon were in attendance at the game.

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