NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 31st (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (52-22) at Minnesota Timberwolves (36-36), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers are inching closer to the second Pacific Division title in franchise history and will resume a five-game road trip Monday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Clippers captured their first Pacific crown last season and sit 6 1/2 games ahead of Golden State in the standings with eight to play. They are third in the Western Conference standings -- two games in front of Houston.
Los Angeles kept its high-scoring reputation intact with Saturday's 118-107 win over the Rockets, as Chris Paul tallied 30 points and 12 assists to lead the way. DeAndre Jordan posted 20 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks for the Clippers, who overcame a 33-23 hole after the first quarter and shot 48 percent for the game.
The Clippers clinched their third consecutive postseason berth with the win.
Jamal Crawford scored 22 points and All-Star forward Blake Griffin played just six minutes before leaving with lower back spasms. Griffin, the Clippers' leading scorer with 24.0 ppg, is day-to-day and has been bothered by a hip problem as well. Griffin went down to his knees with 5:49 left in the first period.
"It scared the hell out of me because I've had that reaction myself and that's a back injury," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of Griffin's injury. "They don't think it's awful."
L.A. has won 15 of its last 17 games and is 2-1 on the trip. It has a 21-17 record on the road and sits first in the NBA with 107.5 ppg.
The Clippers will end the trip at Phoenix on Wednesday.
Minnesota can score, too, and is averaging 106.8 ppg, which is third in the league. The Timberwolves had a two-game win streak stopped with Sunday's 114-99 setback at Brooklyn.
Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer scored 21 points apiece and Kevin Love added 14 points and nine rebounds.
"I might be getting sick or something. I just had zero energy in the second half; got nothing," said Love.
Nikola Pekovic scored 13 points and Ricky Rubio ended with 12 assists for the Wolves, losers in four of six games.
Minnesota will shoot for its third straight win at home and has a 21-14 mark at the Target Center. Memphis is scheduled to visit the Wolves this week.
The T'Wolves are 0-3 against the Clippers this season and have lost the previous eight games in this series. Los Angeles has won its last four trips to the Twin Cities.
03/31 10:30:46 ET