Spurs - Clippers Preview: 11/19/12
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The Los Angeles Clippers' history against the San Antonio Spurs entering this season wasn't exactly stellar, but Los Angeles proved in the last meeting it isn't the same team San Antonio has picked on in recent years.
The Clippers look to extend their five-game winning streak that started with a dominating win over the Spurs in Monday night's rematch in Texas. San Antonio swept Los Angeles out of last season's playoffs and entered 2012-13 with a 52-6 record in the series - including the postseason - since December 1997.
The Clippers, though, routed the Spurs 106-84 on Nov. 7 at Staples Center behind 22 points and 10 rebounds from Blake Griffin and 20 points and 11 boards from DeAndre Jordan. "We still remember what they did to us a couple months ago," Jordan said after that contest. "That was extra motivation."
The victory started a five-game run, during which Los Angeles (7-2) has won by an average of 15.2 points after beating Chicago 101-80 on Saturday.
Griffin scored a season-high 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Jamal Crawford added 22 points off the bench for the Clippers, who also will face Oklahoma City, Brooklyn and Atlanta during a four-game road trip.
"We'd be in really good shape right now if it was a 10-game season," said Chris Paul, who's second in the league with 10.2 assists per game. "We couldn't ask for more out of ourselves, but we just have to keep remembering that it's a long season. We have a big road trip coming up that starts in San Antonio, which is a tough place to play."
That's especially true for the Clippers, who have dropped 28 of the last 30 overall road meetings with a Spurs team that has won four of five since losing to Los Angeles.
San Antonio (8-2) improved to 4-1 at home with a 126-100 victory over Denver on Saturday, leading by as many as 32 points while setting a season high for points scored and going 16 of 27 from 3-point range.
"It's a lot of fun, for any team, when shots are going in," said Danny Green, who had 15 points. "We've had a couple of games where we've struggled. When shots are falling for you, it makes it a lot of fun, a lot easier."
The sizable lead allowed Tim Duncan and Tony Parker to rest in the fourth quarter after scoring 14 points apiece. Manu Ginobili scored a game-high 20 while hitting 5 of 7 from behind the arc.
Ginobili entered the game hitting only 37.3 percent of his shots.
"I'm very happy of course, and that's all I care about. I feel great that I had a good game," Ginobili said. "I needed it to build confidence and hopefully I keep building from here."
Coach Gregg Popovich said Los Angeles "kicked our (butts)" after the last meeting, but he saw good things for the team to build on in Saturday's win. "They did a great job of finding the open man," Popovich said. "The ball movement was great and it allowed us to score."
Parker finished with four points on 2 of 7 shooting as the Spurs committed 20 turnovers and finished with a season low for points scored in the last meeting with the Clippers.
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