Even when healthy, the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers have a tough time matching up with most teams. The flu certainly isn't helping.
Back home after a winless road trip, the Knicks look to pin the Clippers with their 10th straight road loss Monday night in matchup of teams that have been hit hard by the flu in recent days.
New York (14-33) has sunk to a season-low 19 games under .500 after an 0-5 road trip, losing the finale 86-85 to Western Conference-worst Seattle on Saturday.
The Knicks were without center Eddy Curry the last two games of the trip due to the flu. Curry, averaging 13.9 points and 5.0 rebounds, is listed as questionable for Monday's contest.
David Lee has been starting for Curry, totaling 24 points and 25 rebounds in those two games, and has averaged 14.8 points and 12.3 rebounds in recording four consecutive double-doubles.
Quentin Richardson, meanwhile started versus the SuperSonics and scored 11 points one day after he was out with the flu. Richardson, whose first four seasons in the league were with the Clippers after being drafted 18th in 2000, is averaging a career-low 7.0 points.
Even without Curry, New York had a chance to win Saturday. Nate Robinson missed a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining that would have given the Knicks a victory.
The Knicks led the Sonics 38-34 at halftime, and blew second-half leads in four of five defeats during their trip.
"It's tough," New York forward Zach Randolph said. "I've never been on a team that's been in five games straight and not won one."
The Knicks had a fourth-quarter comeback fall short in an 84-81 loss to the Clippers (14-30) on Nov. 14. New York's Jamal Crawford missed a 30-footer the buzzer.
Randolph had 16 points and 19 rebounds for New York in that game, and Curry added 16 and 12. Randolph is averaging 24.0 points in his last three games overall, but the Knicks didn't reach 90 points in any of those contests.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, is in danger of losing 10 straight road games in a single season for the first time since a 19-game skid from Dec. 28, 1999-Feb. 24, 2000. The Clippers also have been struggling offensively, averaging 83.5 points while shooting 40.4 percent from the field in their last two games.
A 98-84 loss to Cleveland on Saturday was the fourth straight game the Clippers played without Corey Maggette and Chris Kaman. Both were out with the flu.
Maggette, averaging 20.9 points, is probable for Monday's game, while Kaman is listed as questionable. Kaman is averaging 17.2 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks a contest.
Josh Powell will again start at center if Kaman can't play. Rookie Al Thornton has helped fill in for Maggette, and he had a team-high 23 points versus the Cavaliers.
Lack of depth, though, has been hurting Los Angeles with Powell and Thornton seeing significant minutes in place of the flu-ridden duo. The Clippers led at halftime in each of their last two games before wearing down in the second half each time.
Los Angeles will be making the third stop on a season-high seven-game stretch on the road. The Clippers haven't won away from Staples Center since Dec. 14, when they beat Minnesota 98-91.
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