NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, February 24th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (38-20) at New Orleans Pelicans (23-32), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The confidence level has to be even higher for the Los Angeles Clippers, as they wrap up a three-game road trip Monday against the New Orleans Pelicans in the Big Easy.
The Clippers just knocked off the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday afternoon with a 125-117 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Jamal Crawford led the way with 36 points and Blake Griffin added 20 for Los Angeles, which rebounded from Friday's loss at Memphis in the opener of the trip and won for the fourth time in six tries.
L.A. is 14-7 in the 21 games Crawford starts.
Chris Paul shook off a sore hand to record 18 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, while Matt Barnes scored 24 points as a starter. DeAndre Jordan had 18 points and 12 boards in the win.
The Clippers gave up 62 points to Kevin Durant (42) and Serge Ibaka (20), but shot 51.9 percent and scored 22 points off 14 OKC turnovers.
"It's definitely a good win for us," said Paul. "We were on the plane yesterday flying here and we were talking about how we hadn't beat any good teams on the road. You know, any really good teams. This would be the perfect time to start."
The Clippers, who improved to 21-11 against the West, are second in the NBA with 107.1 points this season and have a 15-15 mark away from home. They are fourth in the Western Conference, one game behind Houston and 5 1/2 off the top seed.
Meanwhile, Griffin and Paul will return to New Orleans, where they participated in the recent All-Star Game. Griffin had 38 points and Paul added 11 points to go along with 13 assists in the loss for the West.
Griffin has scored 20 or more points in 16 consecutive games, averaging 29.3 and 9.1 rebounds per game in that time.
New Orleans is back home briefly and has lost three straight and five of its last six games. In Saturday's 94-93 loss at Washington, Wizards forward Nene deposited a one-handed jam with 0.3 seconds left for the win. Wizards All- Star guard John Wall drove the lane before dishing the ball to Nene.
"That one hurt," said Pelicans head coach Monty Williams. "Like I told our guys, there's no other way to put it. It just hurt."
Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Anthony Morrow scored 18 points off the bench for New Orleans, which received 10 points from Eric Gordon and made 43.2 percent for the game.
The Pelicans are a miserable 3-25 when outshot by the opponent and have a 13-13 record as the host. After playing the Clippers, New Orleans will begin a five-game western swing against Dallas, Phoenix, the Clippers, Sacramento and the Lakers.
New Orleans was handed a 108-95 defeat by the Clippers on Dec. 18, as Griffin scored 21 points and Davis countered with 24 and 12 rebounds. The Clippers have won four in a row and six of the last seven meetings with the Pelicans, but are just 3-11 in the past 14 trips to the Crescent City.
02/24 10:26:46 ET