With the Lakers' solid win over Miami today, the traditional LA power moved into first place in the Pacific Division ahead of the Clippers. It is the first time that the Clippers have not led the division, at least on percentage points, since the two teams met on January 14 in a game the Clippers won to take the division lead.
Their stay in second could be limited to a few hours if the Clippers can get back on track with a win in Houston. Or it could be extended. The Lakers seem to be playing their best basketball of the season, while the Clippers are struggling. Of course, the Lakers have the biggest discrepancy in the NBA between their home and road record, and they head out on the road starting Tuesday in Detroit. But the Clippers would be wise to get their act together if they want to maintain bragging rights in the city. Bottom line is, a loss in Houston tonight means the Clippers go to bed trailing the Lakers for the first time in seven weeks.
Most disconcerting of all is that the Lakers are playing great defense, while the Clippers continue to have great difficulty stopping teams. As long as this trend continues, I think you have to view the Lakers as the favorite to come out on top in the battle of LA.