PREGAME REPORT | JANUARY 5, 2013
Tip-off: 7:30 PM | STAPLES Center | Los Angeles, CA | Game Notes »
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On Saturday, the Clippers find themselves in a familiar situation, the second back-to-back of this week after dropping two games to both Denver and Golden State on Tuesday and Wednesday.
After defeating the Lakers 107-102 Friday night, the Clippers (26-8) look to avenge Wednesday’s 115-94 loss against the Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland as the teams return to Staples Center for the third meeting of the season. Golden State (22-10) has won the previous two.
The Clippers look to redeem themselves on the offensive end as they shot a season-low 36.3% from the field on Wednesday. The margin of defeat was also a season-worst.
The Warriors have not played since Wednesday.
“We’ve got to be ready,” Chris Paul said. “Those guys [Golden State] have been resting since they played us a few nights ago. It’s our home game, and we’ve got to take the momentum and beat them.”
The Clippers hold first place in the Pacific Division while the Warriors are second. It is the latest in a season the two teams have played each other while occupying the top two spots in the division standings.
LAST TIME OUT
Clippers 107, Lakers 102: The Clippers snapped a two-game losing streak and got the best of the so-called “Battle of L.A.” in what seemed like a playoff of atmosphere. Without Jamal Crawford (sore left foot) in the lineup, Paul scored a season-high 30 points with 13 assists and six rebounds, including a jumper over Kobe Bryant with 19.9 seconds left. Leading by as many as 16 points entering the fourth quarter, the Clippers allowed the Lakers to come within two points, largely due to the play of Bryant, who scored 38 points.
“Just a good solid effort from us, I thought, from start to finish,” Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. “Sometimes it wasn’t efficient, but we battled the whole night which was great.”
Warriors 115, Clippers 94: Offensively, the Warriors and Clippers were on two opposite ends of the spectrum. Golden State was hot from 3-point range, as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson put in 11 of their 17 shots from long disance. The Clippers were led by Crawford’s 24 points.
Blake Griffin vs. David Lee. Griffin is coming off of a 24-point and five-rebound outing against the Lakers, a far cry from the previous night where he was just 2-for-11 from the field with 10 points and six rebounds in Oakland. Lee got the best of him with a double-double of 24 points and 13 rebounds.
TWO THINGS TO WATCH
The Glass. Shots are not going to fall every night, but the Clippers can control the defensive end of the game. On Wednesday, the Clippers were outrebounded by Golden State, 53-38. Boxing out and controlling the paint on defense will facilitate offensive opportunities for the Clippers, especially in transition.
Containing Curry Early. Stephen Curry had 25 of his game-high 31 points in the first half, and his team took a 26-8 lead in the game’s opening minutes. If the Clippers can limit Curry’s touches and make others score the basketball, they have a better chance of diminishing Golden State’s offensive firepower.
Crawford is questionable with a sore left foot…Warriors head coach Mark Jackson played two seasons with the Clippers (1992-94), averaging 12.7 point, 8.7 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 161 games (all starts…Crawford was teammates with Lee in New York for three-and-a-half seasons (2005-08) before being traded to Golden State…Lee is fifth among NBA forwards in points per game with 20.2
“We’ve got another big tough one [Saturday against Golden State],” Del Negro said. “So we have to get our legs under us and get after it.”
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