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Clippers 106, Lakers 78: What rivalry?

LOS ANGELES -- It would be great if the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers were involved in an actual rivalry.

You know, one in which both teams had some kind of history of discontent on the court and were both playing for something at the end of the season.

That was the expectations of Los Angeles sports fans when Chris Paul's trade to the Lakers was nixed over three years ago and he ended up with the Clippers. It was supposed to serve as the starting point of this city's next great rivalry. Instead, it has served as the moment when the Clippers became contenders and the Lakers became a lottery team -- at least in the immediate aftermath.

When the Clippers beat the Lakers 106-78 on Sunday, it served as the Clippers' sixth straight win in the series and their 10th win in the past 11 meetings with their hallway neighbors at Staples Center. The series is now as one-sided currently as it is historically.

The win also gave the Clippers a franchise-record 25 road wins on the season while the loss gives the Lakers a franchise-record 56 losses on the season. There is now a 32-game difference between the Lakers and Clippers in the standings.

To add insult to injury, a Clippers fan, wearing Clippers warmups, was sitting in Jack Nicholson's seat on Sunday.

None of that, however, means much to Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who still concedes Los Angeles is a Lakers town since they've won 16 championships. He's just trying to lead the Clippers to their first title.

"It doesn't matter," Rivers said. "We're not competing against them; we're competing against the whole league right now."

Rivers has tried to change the culture of the team on and off the court since arriving in Los Angeles. He covered the Lakers championship banners and retired jerseys for home games and this week the team lined the street lights outside Staples Center with Clippers playoff signs. None of this, however, will substitute for success and ultimately a championship in the postseason and Rivers understands that.

"We want to win but we have to win for a long time," Rivers said. "The Lakers' footprint is here and it's going to be here forever and it should be. I don't get into that competition. Why should we? Their footprint is pretty sold. It's Shaq-sized."