Blake Griffin says it will take a while to change the Clippers image [Video]
Surrounded by reporters following a 102-94 victory against the Lakers, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was asked if the scrappy, physical game had a playoff-like atmosphere.
"I've never been to the payoffs," Jordan said. "So I don't know what that will feel like."
The Clippers past shortcomings seemed hard to remember after Saturday's game, a showing in which Chris Paul had 33 points and six assists and Blake Griffin finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds to beat a streaking Lakers team that had won five in a row.
One of the keys to the game was rebounding.
The Clippers, who have the lowest rebounding average in the league (37), had a 50-42 rebounding advantage over the Lakers, who have the second-highest rebounding average (46).
"We definitely made strides in the right direction defensively and on the rebounding end of it but we've got to do it again," Paul said. "We've got to make it a habit and not just a one-time thing."
Though the Clippers had just beaten the 16-time champions and were still relishing in a victory just days earlier against the Miami Heat, a team projected to win the title, the players were quick to keep things in perspective.
"We're not going to get too high with these wins," Paul said. "And hopefully, if we lose, we're not going to get too low."
It's a smart attitude to maintain considering that whenever the Clippers realize any success, their critics are quick to delve into their previous failings.
"It's definitely going to take time to remove that label," Griffin said of his team's stigma.
"That's what people say after you beat them," Griffin added. "They're going to want to talk about the past. We're not talking about the past."