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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, January 1st (All times Eastern)

Charlotte Bobcats (14-18) at Los Angeles Clippers (21-12), 9:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers have a tough road ahead, but first have to get through the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday in the finale of a three-game homestand at Staples Center.

The Clippers will visit Dallas and San Antonio this weekend and are coming off Monday's lopsided 107-88 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford scored 15 points apiece, while Chris Paul had 11 with seven assists for the Clippers, losers in three of four games since winning five straight. The Clippers had won their last five at home, but are still 13-3 as the host.

"They were so much tougher than us," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said of the resurgent Suns. "They played their game and we didn't play ours. They were a lot tougher and we had no fight back tonight."

Rivers' squad shot just 36.5 percent and center DeAndre Jordan ended with two points and 19 rebounds.

Griffin had scored 35 or more points in back-to-back games until Phoenix slowed him down to the tune of 5-of-15 shooting. Griffin, who had recorded six straight double-doubles, is still averaging an impressive 25.6 points and 10.4 rebounds in his last nine games.

Paul, meanwhile, is averaging 20.7 points, 11.2 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 steals in his last six games.

Los Angeles is averaging a league-high 109.6 points per game at home and sits just a half-game ahead of the Suns for the Pacific lead.

Charlotte has lost three in a row and four of five games, and dropped to 0-2 on a five-game road trip. In an 83-80 loss at Utah on Monday, Gerald Henderson had 19 points and both Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker added 18 for the Bobcats, who are 6-8 away from home this season and shot 36.9 percent from the field.

Jefferson also grabbed 10 rebounds.

"It's a make-or-miss league and they made it and we missed. That's happened to us the last three nights," Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford said.

The Bobcats are 0-4 on the road against Western Conference opponents and will also visit Portland and Sacramento on the trek. They are allowing just 93.8 points per game, third-lowest in the NBA. The Clippers are fifth in the league in scoring with 104.5 ppg.

Charlotte has held the opposition under 100 points 24 times this season and lost both meetings with the Clippers in 2012-13. The Clippers have won five straight and six of seven games against the Bobcats, who have lost three in a row and six of the eight contests as the guest in this series.

01/01 10:22:12 ET