LOS ANGELES -- Put the record books away, this won't go down as one of the worst losses in franchise history.
At least not statistically.
The Lakers were humiliated by the longtime laughingstock Clippers, run out of their shared gym by a final margin of 123-87. Before the Clippers put in their end of the bench players, and the Lakers did too -- which in their battered state means the starters -- the lead grew to 43 points.
"This," Coach Mike D'Antoni said, "wasn't good."
Del Harris no doubt said something similar Jan. 9, 1995, when his Lakers lost by 46 to the Portland Trail Blazers. It's a franchise-worst mark that was threatened for much of the second half Friday, when the Clippers' lead ballooned to 43 points.
Only four times in team history had the Lakers lost by 40 -- a number by which they trailed in the final minute.
No, the Lakers (14-23) wouldn't quite get there Friday, despite their worst effort.
They trailed 22-21 in the first quarter, before the Clippers put them away with a 21-2 run.
Does anyone even remember Oct. 29, the day of the Lakers' opening-night win over the Clippers?
"You shouldn't ever lose by 40 to nobody," Nick Young said. "Especially at home against a team like the Clippers."
These Lakers have now lost 10 of their past 11 games, a mark not matched since April 2005, when they had a healthy Kobe Bryant, but started Chucky Atkins at point guard, lost 13 of 14 and 18 of 20 to close the season.
If not for a 110-99 win over Utah on Jan. 3, the Lakers would have lost a franchise-worst 11th straight game Friday.
Kendall Marshall led the Lakers with 16 points and 10 assists.
The Clippers, meanwhile, were the high-flying act they no doubt become when at the fingertips of expert gamers.
Blake Griffin finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds, despite not playing in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers doomed the Lakers with an avalanche of momentum plays. Namely, Griffin's fastbreak dunks. The Clippers scored 37 points off 21 Lakers turnovers.
"After a while it's almost like the roof caves in on you," D'Antoni said. "They jumped on us so hard, we sagged our shoulders a little bit."
By the time Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash return to the Lakers' lineup, the team could be 15 games under .500 -- if not worse.
And that's the shred of positivity the Lakers are clinging to.
Nash and Bryant are both scheduled to be re-evaluated when the Lakers return from a seven-game trip Jan. 27.
Bryant has not played since Dec. 17 when he suffered a broken tibial plateau in his left knee. For Nash, 39, he last played Nov. 10, when he left a loss to Minnesota at halftime because of nerve root irritation in his back.
So, how early would be too early to get the future Hall of Famers back on the court. Jan. 28 against Indiana maybe?
"We'll see on the road trip if they get out there and get some scrimmages in or something," D'Antoni said. "If not, it might be a couple of days after that."
While the Lakers are on the East Coast, Nash will be rehab Vancouver, B.C. He said last week he thinks he will need about a week of practice before testing his back in games.
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