(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Clippers piled more misery on their cross-town rivals with a 105-95 win over the Lakers at the Staples Center on Friday.
Despite the addition of high-profile recruits Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, the Lakers were 0-8 in preseason and have started the NBA regular season with three straight defeats -- their worst start since the 1978-79 campaign.
Nash did not start on Friday due to a contusion on his left leg but it is doubtful whether his presence would have helped the Lakers break down a tough Clippers unit, who improved to 2-0 to start the season.
The Clippers led by five after the first half and pulled away from the Lakers on the back of a 30-20 third quarter.
Jamal Crawford led the Clippers in scoring with 21 but it was a great team effort with Chris Paul (18), Blake Griffin (15), Caron Butler (14), and Eric Bledsoe (10) all finishing with double figures.
All 11 Clippers spent significant time on court and 10 of 11 contributed points.
On the Lakers side, 14-times All Star Kobe Bryant was left to carry the scoring burden for his team and delivered a valiant 40 points to keep them in the game.
Only one team has recovered from an 0-3 start to win an NBA Championship, the 1990-91 Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan. Bryant passed Magic Johnson for the most steals in Lakers colors in the third quarter with his 1,725th career swipe.
Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford