The Los Angeles Clippers hope their first meeting of the season with Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night will allow them to earn consecutive wins for the first time this month.

Los Angeles (26-29) has won all four matchups with Charlotte (22-34). The Clippers will look to extend that winning streak and try to take two in a row for the first time since a three-game run from Jan. 28-Feb. 2.

Elton Brand tied a career high with eight blocks, scored 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Los Angeles to a 103-90 win over Golden State on Saturday, ending a four-game slide.

"Elton did such a good job of controlling the paint and blocking shots," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "It was one of those situations where the defenders on the guys who were driving were doing such a good job, they didn't have a chance to see Elton coming from the back side to block it."

Brand, a natural power forward, could make his third consecutive start at center Monday in place of Chris Kaman, who's missed the last two contests with flu-like symptoms. Brand leads the Clippers with 20.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, and has dominated the Bobcats with 29.8 points and 11.8 boards.

The Clippers may need Brand to continue that outstanding production against Charlotte, as they could be missing another key member of their frontcourt. Tim Thomas, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds against the Warriors, was forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter due to back spasms. His status for Monday is uncertain.

Despite the health issues, Los Angeles has moved within a half-game of seventh-place Denver and New Orleans in the Western Conference.

"Now we need to put a string of games together so we can continue to win," Brand said.

Los Angeles, 1-2 on a season high-tying five-game homestand, needs to take advantage of the remaining two games. The Clippers won for only the second time in nine contests Saturday, and five of the losses during that stretch came on the road, where they're 8-19. Los Angeles, 18-10 at home, closes out the homestand Wednesday against Seattle.

The Clippers will be facing a Charlotte club that may be without leading rebounder Emeka Okafor and top scorer Gerald Wallace.

Both players suffered injuries in the third quarter of the Bobcats' 93-76 loss to Toronto on Saturday, which halted the team's season-high four-game winning streak.

Okafor, averaging 11.7 boards per game, is nursing a strained left calf. Wallace, who's scoring 16.1 points a contest, has a strained groin.

"I was running down the court and it felt like my groin went out. Ever since then it was like constant pain," Wallace said. "The doctors decided I was favoring it too much. They didn't want me to risk hurting it more."

Both players are uncertain to play Monday and could join Brevin Knight (groin), Sean May (knee) and Othella Harrington (knee) on the sidelines.

The injuries to Okafor and Wallace come just as the Bobcats open a season-high six-game road trip.

Charlotte is 9-18 on the road and does not return home until it begins a four-game stretch at Charlotte Bobcats Arena on March 10 against Memphis. That homestand ends March 16 against the Clippers.


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