chris paul

The Los Angeles Clippers have no banners on the walls or in the rafters at Staples Center. They would need decades to measure up to the Lakers’ history.

And they don’t care. The past is easy to overlook in Hollywood. The present belongs to Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Clippers, who are running Staples Center with style this season.

Paul had 24 points and 13 assists, Griffin scored 18 of his 22 points in a spectacular first quarter and the Clippers cemented their supremacy in Los Angeles with a 125-101 victory over the Lakers on Thursday night.

Chauncey Billups hit five 3-pointers while scoring 21 points for the Clippers, who never trailed as they roared into the All-Star break by clinching the season series in their city rivalry for the first time in 20 years. The Clippers have won the Staples Center co-tenants’ first three games of the season, with Los Angeles’ longtime underdogs burying the 16-time champions in this latest meeting under a wave of 16 3-pointers…

Caron Butler had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who lead Golden State by seven games atop the Pacific Division standings. The win was their fourth straight in an impressive five-night stretch heading into what could be a memorable All-Star game for Los Angeles’ teams, which are contributing four of the West’s five starters this weekend in Houston…

Kobe Bryant had 20 points and 11 assists for the Lakers, who head to the break in 10th place in the Western Conference, four games below .500 with little reason to suspect things will get a whole lot better - particularly without Pau Gasol, who’s likely out until April with the latest in their series of serious injuries…

The Clippers lost Lamar Odom in the second quarter when the longtime Lakers big man got poked in the left eye. … The Lakers’ Jodie Meeks converted a four-point play late in the third quarter.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press