NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, March 26th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (50-21) at New Orleans Pelicans (30-40), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Another playoff berth is inevitable for the Los Angeles
Clippers and they'll hit the road for five straight games, starting with
Wednesday's matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Clippers locked up another 50-win campaign their last time out and are
counting down the days for a third straight postseason appearance. They will
also visit Dallas, Houston, Minnesota and Phoenix on the trip and have a 9-5
record away from home since late January.
Los Angeles is averaging 110.6 points per game in the last 14 road games and
sports a 19-16 record away from home.
L.A. reached 50 wins for a second straight year with Monday's 106-98 victory
over the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center, where Blake Griffin deposited a
27-point, 14-rebound double-double and scored 20 or more points in the 29th
consecutive game (27.2 ppg in that time).
Griffin has 34 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season, and
has accomplished the feat 124 times since 2010-11.
Darren Collison scored 15 points with six assists, while Chris Paul added 14
points and seven assists for Los Angeles, which won for the eighth straight
time at Staples Center and has prevailed in 13 of its last 14 overall. Still,
the Clippers weren't happy with the win.
"We were not pleased with our effort," said Collison. "We made mistakes, but
at the end of the day getting the win is all that matters."
DeAndre Jordan fell four points shy of a double-double with six and 10
rebounds. He still has 15 double-doubles in the last 23 games.
The Clippers, who are 29-12 against teams from the West and six games ahead of
Golden State for the Pacific Division lead, have the fourth-most wins with 146
since the 2011-12 campaign. Only San Antonio, Miami and Oklahoma City have
Los Angeles is first in the league with 107.5 ppg and is third in the Western
Conference standings -- 1 1/2 games ahead of the Houston Rockets.
The Pelicans have been playing well of late with three straight wins and seven
in the last 10 games. They are 2-0 on four-game homestand with wins over Miami
and Brooklyn, and handed the Nets a 109-104 overtime loss on Monday.
Tyreke Evans had a big night with 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting, 10 rebounds
and seven assists. Anthony Davis followed with 24 points, 14 boards and three
blocks, and is averaging 31.3 points and 13.6 rebounds in the last nine games.
Davis had scored 28 or more points in the previous eight.
New Orleans overcame a big deficit and outscored the Nets 31-18 in the third
quarter. It then scored 11 of the 17 points in overtime.
"We don't give in," Pelicans head coach Monty Williams said. "I think we were
down (22) and there was a lot of jawing and talking out there. For me, I'm not
about talking trash, I'm about being effective."
Williams' bunch is 18-17 in the Big Easy and will close the homestand Friday
versus the Utah Jazz. Pelicans guard Eric Gordon (knee) is questionable for
New Orleans has dropped the first three meetings with the Clippers this season
and six in a row in this series. The Clippers have prevailed in each of their
last three visits to the Big Easy after losing nine straight games there.
03/26 10:25:52 ET