LOS ANGELES — If this isn’t rock bottom, it must be close.
The losses keep mounting, the games are one-sided and the Lakers are showing no signs of life. They’ve gone from bad to embarrassing.
They never had a chance Friday night against the Clippers, losing 123-87 at Staples Center — their worst defeat ever to their downtown rivals — and sounding like a team that has lost its resolve. Maybe they have.
"The game is supposed to be fun," guard Nick Young said. "You’re supposed to enjoy it. But to lose like that, that’s bad."
Bad doesn’t quite describe it. The Lakers trailed by 18 points at the half and then folded up quickly in the third quarter. They were outscored 31-8, and the Clippers broke the 100-point mark with 42 seconds left in the period.
The Lakers were reduced to nine available players, but it’s doubtful even Kobe Bryant — who sat on the bench and spent parts of the game with his head in his hands — could have prevented this disaster.
They were unable to keep up with an early pace set by the Clippers, and they couldn’t avoid mistakes, turning the ball over 21 times and shooting 34.5 percent.
"They just jumped all over us with their athleticism and we turned the ball over, which is one of our problems," coach Mike D’Antoni said. "(With their) foot speed, we couldn’t keep up with them."
There was a litany of problems, but the Lakers are getting used to them. They have now lost 10 of 11 games, a stretch they haven’t endured since April 2005.
"I don’t think there’s one positive thing we can take from this game," guard Kendall Marshall said. "We were competitive for maybe five minutes. We just can’t have that.
"It has nothing to do with talent. It has nothing to do with who’s injured. We just have to go out there and compete. There’s no team in this league that’s 40, 50 points better than anybody else."
In so many ways, the Clippers schooled the Lakers. They dunked on them almost at will, throwing alley-oop passes and getting out quickly on the break. At points in the game, the Clippers were smiling — it was that easy.
"We can’t let people just dunk on us or clown us without giving a hard foul or even showing some emotion," Young said. "Foul somebody, get mad."
But the Lakers didn’t even have that. In fact, they had nothing.