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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, February 18th (All times Eastern)

San Antonio Spurs (38-15) at Los Angeles Clippers (37-18), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - With Chris Paul back in tow, the Los Angeles Clippers appear ready to make a run in the Western Conference.

They'll put the recent success to the test Tuesday versus the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center and entered the All-Star break having won three in a row and eight of 11 games.

Paul returned from an 18-game absence Feb. 9 versus Philadelphia and recorded seven points and eight assists. The Clippers were 12-6 without Paul, who then posted 20 points and 12 assists in a win over Portland on Feb. 12, helping the Clippers to a 23-4 home record this season.

Los Angeles is 3-1 on a five-game homestand and has scored 100 points or more in 11 straight home games. It is 14-2 at home against Western Conference opponents and sits fourth in the West standings, two games in back of the Spurs for the second spot.

The Clippers are second in the NBA in points scored with 107.0 ppg and will start a three-game road trip this weekend against Memphis, Oklahoma City and New Orleans.

"We have a pretty good schedule coming up here," said Clippers forward Blake Griffin, who is averaging 29.7 points in his last 13 games and has eclipsed the 20-point mark in each. "We play some good teams on the road and at home. Really, locking in and making sure we execute our game plan every game."

Griffin had 38 points and Paul added 11 with 13 assists in Sunday's All-Star Game for the West.

Clippers head coach Doc Rovers said defense is key in making a run in the second half. L.A. is allowing 100.6 ppg this season.

"We haven't been consistent enough defensively," said Rivers. "You look at the Portland game the other night. We won in an offensive game because we got seven or eight straight stops at the end. And you look at that and think, 'What were we waiting for?' through that game. All of a sudden we started doing some things we should've been doing, so that's my concern. We've become so good offensively I think at times that we think, 'Well, we'll outscore them.' That does not work in the playoffs."

San Antonio is bound for another playoff appearance and sits four games behind the Thunder for the conference's top seed.

The Spurs took a break from their Rodeo trip with the All-Star Game and are 4-2 so far on the trek. The closed the first half of the season with a 104-92 triumph in Boston last Wednesday, as Tim Duncan scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half and Saturday's 3-point champion Marco Belinelli added 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Duncan was not selected for the All-Star Game, but is vital to the Spurs.

"Had a tough first half, but, in the second half, he was a monster. He led the way for us," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said of Duncan's last performance.

San Antonio is 20-7 away from the Alamo City this season and still has Portland and Phoenix to visit.

Spurs point guard Tony Parker was an All-Star and provided four points and one assist in 11 minutes of action. Parker leads the team with 17.7 points and 6.2 assists, and is questionable Tuesday for rest.

Center Tiago Splitter (calf) is questionable against the Clippers.

San Antonio and Los Angeles have split two meetings this season with each team prevailing on its home floor. The Spurs are 23-5 in the past 28 matchups in this series and 14-4 in the previous 18 meetings at Staples Center.

02/18 10:26:21 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
4th
WASH 10
ARST 17
 
Half
HAW 10
NEV 6
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14