So much for the battle of L.A.

The Los Angeles Lakers, as has been the case all season long, are simply trying to survive in this fight for their playoff lives. And after falling 109-95 to the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Sunday afternoon and seeing their hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, this much was clear: They can't afford to live in Lob City.

The Clippers swept the season series for the first time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984, downing the Lakers in convincing fashion just as they had in two of the three previous matchups. Their 107-102 win over the Lakers Jan. 4 was the lone single-digit differential, while the Clippers won by an average of 13.2 points for the four meetings.

They did it with the same formula that has worked so well for most of this historical campaign, by using their defense to spark an offense that — when on the run — is as deep and dynamic as they come. Clippers point guard Chris Paul was one of five Clippers to score at least 12 points, finishing with 24 in all in addition to 12 assists and sparking chants of "MVP" from the Clippers faithful down the stretch. Jamal Crawford, who is continuing to make a strong case that he should be the NBA's sixth man of the year, scored 20 points off the bench while hitting six of 13 shots.