MINNEAPOLIS – The gray clouds hovering above the Twin Cities as the Clippers’ charter arrived for the first game of their back-to-back road test seemed befitting of the team’s November schedule.

With the Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder on the docket for Wednesday and Thursday, a November that has been relentless only gets tougher. Wednesday at Target Center will be the first of four games in five nights for the Clippers (7-4).

They travel to Oklahoma City after the game Wednesday and play two afternoon games at Staples Center this weekend against Sacramento and Chicago.

When they tipoff against the Wolves they will have played eight of their 12 games against teams with at least six wins. Only four of the Clippers first 15 games will come against teams under .500 through Nov. 19. According to ESPN’s Relative Percentage Index, the Clippers have played toughest schedule in the league so far. Their opponents have combined for an average winning percentage of .545.

The most significant bright spot is that they have navigated the tough stretch by winning seven of their first 10 games. And after Sunday’s game concludes, they will not have another four in five nights stretch for the remainder of the season (Coincidentally, they were also forced to do it in preseason).The Clippers face a tough upcoming stretch of games

In a way, despite the grueling early schedule in terms of quality of opponents and two seven-game road trips still to come, the Clippers have some scheduling advantages.

They play 15 more back-to-backs, including Wednesday and Thursday. Twelve of those have at least one road games.  And the notion that they are done with four-in-fives is nothing to sell short. 

They can be the most grueling stretch of games sans the lockout-shortened season, which included at least one set of three games in three nights for each team, and two for the Clippers. According to basketball research site, NBAStuffer.com, the Hawks, Bucks and Knicks all have four sets of four games in five nights and the league average is two and Philadelphia is the only team without a four in five night set.

Minnesota plays two sets of five games in four nights with the Clippers arriving in Minneapolis for game two of the set after the Timberwolves arrived home from Washington.

Here is a look at how the Clippers have fared when playing four games in five nights since the 2010-11 season, including a pair of undefeated stretches as such in 2012-13. Note: the 2011-12 season included two sets of back-to-back-to-backs that were not included in the below list.

SEASON

DATES

ORDER

RECORD

2013-14

Nov. 20-21, 23-24

RR, HH

--

2012-13

Mar. 26-27, 29-30

RR, RR

1-3

 

Feb. 10-11, 13-14

RR, HH

4-0

 

Jan. 1-2, 4-5

RR, HH

2-2

 

Dec. 8-9, 11-12

HH, RR

4-0

2011-12

Mar. 11-12, 14-15

HH, HH

1-3

 

Mar. 1-2, 4-5

RR, RR

2-2

2010-11

Apr. 5-6, 8-9

RR, RR

1-3

 

Feb. 22-23, 25-26

RR, RH

0-4

 

Jan. 16-17, 19-20

HH, HR

3-1