It May Just Be One Season, but Clippers Own LA…for Now

When Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers cruised to a 109-95 win over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on April 7, L.A.'s second-class citizens enjoyed much more than the satisfaction of a single victory.

The Clippers proved that this season, the Staples Center—and even more meaningfully, Los Angeles—belonged to them.

Historically, the Clips' win has massive significance. Not only did the club extend its franchise-best win total to 51, it also clinched its first Pacific Division title in history. In addition, the Clippers completed the first sweep of a season series against the Lakers since 1974-75, when the Clips were known as the Buffalo Braves.

It's hard to get a grip on the idea of the Clippers being the class of L.A., but it's just not possible to spin the story any other way. Once a perennial doormat, CP3 and Co. are now the toast of Tinseltown.

And they've done it in the simplest way possible: by being better than the Lakers on the court.

On the season, the Clippers have bested their intracity rivals in virtually every meaningful statistical category. Offensively, the Clips have posted an efficiency rating of 107.5 points per 100 possessions. The Lakers lag behind at 105.4.

On defense, the story is the same: Per 100 possessions, the Clippers allow a stingy 101.1 points per 100 possessions, while the Lakers check in at a more generous 103.7.

On the boards, the advantage again belongs to the Clippers, who pull down 51.5 percent of all available rebounds. Despite featuring the towering frontcourt duo of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, the Lakers grab just 51.1 percent.

Based on all of those statistical advantages, it shouldn't be a surprise that the Clippers also dominate the Lakers in one of the most important metrics of all: per-game point differential. Over the course of the 2012-13 season, the Clippers have handled their opponent...

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