Predictably though, reality swung its hammer the next 42 minutes ... in a very large, embarrassing way for the Lakers.
The Clippers outscored them by 31 in the second quarter and absolutely humiliated them at Staples Center, 142-94.
The Lakers had never lost this badly. Ever.
That 129-83 loss at Portland in 1995? Now a silver medalist on the Lakers' podium of shame. This was a designated Lakers home game, easily outdoing their former worst loss at home — a 39-point defeat against Boston in 1960.
It was the Clippers' largest margin of victory ever, against anybody, scratching out their 123-78 clobbering of Philadelphia last month.
No wonder there was loud music emanating from the Clippers' locker room after the game, complete with players singing and shouting in delight.
In the "Most Awkward" category, you could hear the music in the room while Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni held his postgame news conference with reporters.
The Clippers pummeled the Lakers by 36 two months ago, their largest victory ever against them at the time, and somehow one-upped it.
The still-injured Kobe Bryant wasn't on the Lakers' bench Thursday, probably a good thing. No telling what he might have done.
The Clippers appeared to be on the power play the entire second quarter, outscoring the Lakers, 44-13, amid a fireball of alley-oops, dunks and three-pointers.
"They smelled blood in the water and they killed us," D'Antoni said.
Oh, and the Clippers (43-20) set season-highs for points and consecutive victories (six).
"Whenever you're in the same town, you see each other all the time, and in the summer you play against each other," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "Clearly, you like the bragging rights."
Somehow the Lakers beat the Clippers by 13 on opening night, a long time ago in a month far, far away (last October).
The Clippers laughed soon after that. For a couple of hours.
Their backcourt strategy of two starting point guards ran circles around the Lakers.
Darren Collison had 24 points and Paul had 13 points and 11 assists. They didn't play in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers' fun didn't end there.
Blake Griffin had 20 points and 11 rebounds. Matt Barnes had 17 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. They also didn't play in the fourth quarter.
"They rattled us," said forward Wesley Johnson, who made one of nine shots.
Said backup center Robert Sacre: "It's embarrassing. No one wants to lose like that."
Barnes did not know it was the Lakers' worst loss ever until Paul told him a few minutes before talking to reporters.
"I'm surprised," Barnes said. "They're just having a tough season. ... People are going to take advantage of it while they can."
Gasol had 21 points for the Lakers but didn't come close to stopping the Clippers defensively down low.
The Lakers' season trudges onward. Or backward. Or something ugly and indescribable.
They travel Friday to Denver for their fourth game in five nights.
They could get swept by Denver in a season series for the first time since the Nuggets joined the NBA in 1976-77.
Nobody would be surprised this season. History keeps finding the Lakers in all the wrong ways.