Pivot Points: For One Night, the Clippers Step Out of Lakers’ Shadow

It's bad enough that the Los Angeles Clippers have to share a city with the Lakers, but to share the same building has to be torture beyond measure.

Imagine glancing up into the air of the Staples Center and seeing all that history in the form of retired jerseys and multiple championship banners— and knowing none of it belongs to you.

Such is the plight of the Clippers, who have been forced to exist in the shadow of the Lakers and have been an unwilling participant in the various moments of glory achieved by the "real home team."

The Clippers had suffered nine straight defeats to the Lakers, a number that spanned more than two seasons, until their emphatic 102-91 victory on Wednesday night.

Forgive Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, and Rasual Butler for celebrating as if the Clippers had just clinched a playoff spot. This was the only victory against the Lakers any of them had ever experienced as Clippers, with the exception of Kaman.

Even though it was a tired Laker team in the second night of a back-to-back, they were beaten thoroughly and convincingly, and for some reason I don't feel as bad as I would opposite another opponent.

Everyone hates to lose, but dropping a game to the Clippers is like losing to your little brother. It only happens on occasion, and even though your competitive spirit always shines through, you can't help but feel a little good.

The Clippers deserve credit because Davis was able to answer any surge created by Kobe Bryant, Kaman was the best center on the floor, and the strongest post player in the game was Craig Smith.

That's right, Smith— a name Lamar Odom will surely remember after being repeatedly abused in the paint and on the glass, a stunning development in itself.

As a matter of fact, with an enthusiastic crowd in the background and the rhythm from the Staples Center filling the air, it would have been easy to ...

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