As the buzzer sounded Friday night and Lakers fans booed after a deflating loss, Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell raised his hands and motioned for the crowd to keep the jeers coming.
After the Clippers used a 22-0 second-half run to beat the undermanned Lakers 118-107 in the teams' first regular-season encounter, Harrell said the Clippers wanted to remind people that there was another team in Los Angeles besides the Lakers.
"I love it," Harrell said of hearing the boos. "Because they already don't recognize us as a so-called L.A. team, but we don't really care about that. But we want y'all to know that we're the LA Clippers. That means Los Angeles Clippers, man. So there's two teams in L.A.
"Y'all try to overlook us, just because of everybody in that purple and gold and the history of it. Yeah, I respect that. But that don't mean s— to me. Excuse my French — that don't mean nothing to me. I come out here and play for the guys that I am on the floor with. At the end of the day, y'all gonna have to recognize us, man. We are going to make you understand who we are."
The Clippers continued their surprising start and improved to 21-14, putting them fourth in the Western Conference. They thrived by playing physical defense against the Lakers on Friday. Taking advantage of LeBron James (groin) and Rajon Rondo (finger surgery) watching from the bench, the Clippers turned an 80-73 deficit with 2:13 remaining in the third quarter into a 95-80 lead with 9:45 left in the contest.