Two of the top four teams in the West face off Tuesday
POSTED: Mar 15, 2016 11:26 AM ET
There's plenty of reasons to tune in when the Clippers and Spurs take the floor.
The Spurs have won 41 straight games at home in San Antonio dating back to last season and have started the 2015-16 season a perfect 32-0 at home. This is the third longest undefeated start to a season at home, trailing the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (37-0) and 1995-96 Orlando Magic (33-0). The Warriors are on the Spurs' tails with a 31-0 home record this season, and it's possible we could witness the first two 41-0 undefeated home records in NBA history. The Clippers are one of four teams in the league to have more than 20 road wins this season (joining Golden State, San Antonio and Cleveland), so they're in a better position than most to halt the Spurs' historic streak. It won't be easy, though, as the Spurs have won at home by an average of 15.4 points this season.
It's getting harder and harder for the Clippers to win against elite teams without Blake Griffin, who has been out since Christmas due to injuries. Los Angeles won its first nine games without Griffin, but have posted a record of 16-10 since that stretch. They are 2-3 over their last five games with losses against Cleveland, Oklahoma City and Atlanta. Chris Paul has carried a heavy load over this stretch without Griffin as he's averaged 21.4 points and 12.1 assists over his last 10 games (including nine double-doubles). The Clippers will need a big offensive game from Paul, along with solid contributions from Jeff Green, Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson or Luc Mbah A Moute. In their loss to the Cavaliers on Sunday, those four bench contributors scored just 28 points on 10-for-39 shooting. The Clippers' bench must perform better than that if they hope to knock off the Spurs, who have won 11 of their last 12 games.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson may get all the hype, but the top two 3-point shooters in the league are on the Clippers and Spurs. J.J. Redick leads the league from deep at 47.8 percent, while Kawhi Leonard sits in second with a career-best clip of 46.5 percent. The Spurs have struggled mightily from deep over their last four games, however, shooting a combined 18-for-88 (20.5 percent). This is way below their season average of 38.1 percent, which is second best in the league. San Antonio will look to regain their shooting stroke at home tonight as they look to improve to 52-0 this season when shooting a higher field goal percentage than their opponent.
The most obvious reason to watch of them all. The Clippers and Spurs competed in one of the most exciting playoff series in NBA history last season, with the Clippers prevailing in seven games. Relive all the action from that series before tonight's Fan Night coverage begins at 8 ET on NBA TV:
Best of Phantom: Clippers Dethrone Spurs
Watch highlights from the first round series between the Clippers and the defending champion Spurs as they battle to the brink in this first round match-up through our Phantom Camera.
NBA.com staff reports