Mike D’Antoni is coach of one of the worst Lakers teams in franchise history. That doesn’t mean he’s not smart enough to know which Clippers players he has to fear most.

“They have a lot of weapons and obviously (Chris) Paul spearheads the whole thing,” D’Antoni said ahead of Sunday’s game with the Clippers. “And Blake Griffin’s been playing great. You’re just trying to contain them a little bit.”

That didn’t happen. Paul scored 23 points with six assists and three steals and Griffin scored 23 points with seven rebounds and five assists to lead the high-flying Clippers to a 120-97 victory over the Lakers before a sellout crowd of 19,239 at Staples Center. One of those fans was Sir Paul McCartney.

It was the Clippers’ 18th win in their past 21 starts.

The Clippers (55-23) closed to within one game of Oklahoma City for second place in the Western Conference standings. The Clippers have just four games left in the regular season, Oklahoma City six. The teams square off Wednesday night at Staples Center.

The loss for the Lakers (25-52) means they can’t lose any of their remaining five games if they want to avoid owning the worst record in L.A. Lakers history. As it is, even if they do win all five, they would still tie the 1974-75 Lakers, who went 30-52. That equates to a winning percentage of .366. The 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers went 19-53, a .264 clip.

Coming off a loss Thursday to Dallas at Staples Center, Clippers coach Doc Rivers was queried as to how big the win was so as not to lose two in a row at home so near the postseason.

“Every game is important as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t even look at that,” he said. “But you just want to keep winning; it’s nice to do that. It’s nice to win when guys have relatively low minutes as well, so that was good.”

The Clippers led 57-49 at halftime, but had 12 turnovers. They led 94-72 after three quarters and had just four more turnovers to finish with 16.

The Clippers also got a fine game from J.J. Redick. In just his second game in two months, no thanks to a bulging disc in his back, he started and scored 15 points. DeAndre Jordan scored 11 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots, and Darren Collison scored 14.