The fun, freewheeling style of basketball that L.A. expected to see this season was barnstorming at the Staples Center on Tuesday -- at least once the opening act finished up and made way for the headliners.
There was a seven-hour stretch between tipoffs for the Lakers and Clippers on the NBA’s annual Christmas Day marathon. But, really, it felt like seven months, even on an afternoon when the Lakers beat a quality team and claimed to be cured of their season-long ills.
Leave it to L.A.’s teams to have folks scratching their heads for completely different reasons. Almost as big a surprise as the Lakers’ early free-fall is the Clippers winning their 14th straight and cruising to the best record in the league.
It’s stunning, if only because Vinny Del Negro is coaching, Chauncey Billups is missing, Willie Green is starting and Donald Sterling is owning. Some might see that as a blueprint for disaster, but the Clippers -- ho, ho, ho -- are laughing all the way to the top of the heap.