CLIPPERS SET SINGLE-SEASON FRANCHISE RECORD FOR ROAD WINS
NEW ORLEANS – The history of the Clippers is becoming just that over the final weeks of the 2012-13 regular season. History.
On Wednesday in their 105-91 victory over the New Orleans Hornets the first of what is expected to be at least three significant franchise milestones fell.
In that game they notched the 21st road win of the season, surpassing the 2005-06 team that went 20-21 away from home and came within a game of the Western Conference Finals. This season’s group is the first to secure a road winning percentage better than .500 and there are still five away games remaining.
They own the fourth best road record in the NBA, trailing Miami, San Antonio and Oklahoma City and are one of just five teams with 20 or more road wins. The Clippers have gone on the road and defeated five of the best nine teams in terms of home winning percentage, including Indiana (eight home losses), Memphis (eight home losses), Utah twice (nine home losses) and San Antonio (four home losses), who they face in the Alamo City Friday night.
Their road success has included a franchise-record seven-game winning streak. They defeated 19 opponents in their own building this year with an opportunity to make it 20 on the final day of the regular season in what could be the final visit to Sacramento.
Now that they have won the most road games in franchise history, it paves the way for the next inevitable milestone: their first 50-win season, which will be realized with their next victory. That win could also mark the organization’s first division championship. After the Golden State Warriors lost Wednesday to the Kings, the magic number is down to two (2) to clinch the Pacific Division.
"At the beginning of the season, we set some goals for the team,” Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said prior to the Clippers’ game against the Mavericks Tuesday. “Obviously, to win the division. It's all about improving throughout the season. I expect a lot from this team but more importantly they expect a lot from themselves. We just want to play as consistently as possible, count them up at the end and hopefully be healthy going into the playoffs.”
As each franchise accomplishment or milestone tumbles over the next 10 games, it may serve as something of an informal countdown to the postseason. At that point, the Clippers hope history can be extended a little further.