Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers: Preview, Analysis and Predictions

Once battles between the apex and doldrums of the NBA, matchups between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers have become a hotter ticket in Los Angeles than the opening of the latest Quentin Tarantino film.

Long the ugly stepchild of the Lakers, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin's arrival to the Clippers has ignited a stagnant franchise. The "Lob City" duo started laying claim to the title "Best in Los Angeles" last season and have completely taken over the crown in 2012-13.

Standing at 50-26, the Clippers have already locked up their first 50-win campaign in franchise history. And with one more win on Sunday, they can make even more history by capturing their first Pacific Division crown with a win. Though the team certainly has bigger goals up its sleeve, some players have acknowledged what a huge accomplishment Sunday could be.

“I think that would be special because it’s a moment in history,” Caron Butler said (via Fox Sports' Michael Martinez).

Hoping to stop the Clippers' victory parade is a Lakers squad that has long been the Pacific Division's monolith. However, the 2012-13 season has been ripe with well-trodden turmoil from the season's opening tip. The team dipped as may as eight games below the .500 mark midway through the campaign and has just barely recovered enough to capture the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

But the Lakers' position in the playoffs is precarious. The Jazz are just one game behind in the loss column and are nipping at Los Angeles' heels after a win over New Orleans on Friday night. 

With playoff positioning on the line, Sunday's contest will bear even more weight than an average matchup between the Lakers and Clippers. Here is a complete breakdown of the nationally televised game, with our pick to win included. 


Game Information

Start Time: Sunday, April 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

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