There appears to be a bit of a gap between first and third in the West. Making a mockery of their rodeo road trip, the San Antonio Spurs rode into town and corralled the Clippers every which way in their 116-90 thrashing Thursday night at Staples Center. As the NBA trading deadline passed quietly, the Clippers were even more quiet, which may have been a disconcerting reflection that they couldn't pull anything off to get closer to the Spurs. "It was a complete ass-kicking from the start in every way you can count," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We didn't bring the effort, the intensity, the mindset tonight to compete at the level you need to against a team like that." If it wasn't over at halftime - and a 15-point San Antonio lead made a pretty good case that it was - a 34-21 pummeling in the third quarter drove it home. The Spurs led by 34 at one point. Tony Parker scored 14 of his 31 points in the third period and got out of Dodge, just like many of the fans, as the Spurs (44-12) won their fifth consecutive game. They've won six of seven on their nine-game road trip. "They beat us bad," said Clippers guard Chris Paul, who went from All-Star Game MVP to four points and three assists in 27 minutes on Thursday. "Luckily this wasn't Game 7 or our last game of the season. They came out, they executed, Tony was in a rocking chair all night. We let him go wherever he wanted to. It shows we've got to get back to work.