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
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
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