NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 24th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (32-11) at Phoenix Suns (14-28), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers have lost consecutive games for only the second time since the start of December, but they will look to get on track Thursday night in Phoenix against the Suns.
After a perfect road swing through Memphis, Houston and Minnesota, the Clippers beat the Washington Wizards at home. That victory came on Saturday and the Clips haven't won since.
They fell to the Golden State Warriors in Oakland on Monday, 106-99, then dropped a decision to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 109-97 at the Staples Center the very next night.
All-Star and MVP candidate Chris Paul looked hobbled in the Warriors' loss and didn't play against the Thunder. Paul suffered a bone bruise in his right kneecap and has now missed four of the last six.
"We know how much Chris makes a difference, but we're not going to use that as an excuse," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said after Tuesday's loss. "I have a lot of confidence in the guys that played. We just didn't play as well as we needed to."
Paul is listed as a game-time decision for Thursday.
Against the Thunder, Blake Griffin stuffed the stat sheet. He scored a season- high 31 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, handed out five assists, picked up two steals and a block.
Three other Clippers scored in double figures. L.A.'s defense was not strong against the Thunder, the league's most prolific scoring team. Oklahoma City shot 53 percent from the field and almost 56 percent from long range.
The Suns earned interim coach Lindsey Hunter a win in his debut Wednesday night, knocking off the Kings, 106-96, in Sacramento to halt a two-game slide.
"That was really exciting," said Hunter. "I'm more excited for the guys than I am anything else. They've worked so hard for me these past couple of days. This is a long, long journey and this is just the beginning for all of us."
The Suns blew the Kings out in the fourth quarter, 32-19. Six Suns scored in double figures, led by 21 from Luis Scola and 19 off the bench from Michael Beasley.
The Suns, who have lost four in a row at home, head on the road for two straight after Thursday's tilt with the Clippers. Phoenix plays nine of its next 13 away from US Airways Center.
The Clippers have won both matchups this season and won both by an average of 22 points. Prior to their win on Dec. 23 in Phoenix, the Clippers had lost 10 in a row as the visitor in this series.
01/24 10:24:10 ET