NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 7th (All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (26-23) at Los Angeles Clippers (34-18), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers will try to put the brakes on a two-game losing streak Friday night against the Toronto Raptors at the Staples Center.
The Clippers, who have dropped three of four, lost at Denver on Monday, then fell at home to the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Wednesday, 116-112.
Miami built a 19-point lead, but the Clips whittled it down to two with 1:04 left in the game. Ray Allen buried a 3-pointer and LA never got within four the rest of the way.
"I'm happy with the fight we had, that says a lot about our team. We just had too many mistakes. I can't fault the effort from our guys," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said.
Blake Griffin tallied a season-high 43 points to go with 13 boards, while Jamal Crawford netted 31 points for Los Angeles. DeAndre Jordan finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds, followed by 12 from Matt Barnes.
The Heat shot 69.6 percent (16-of-23) in the opening frame and set a first- quarter team record with 15 assists on their 16 made field goals. They finished shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from long range. Miami forced L.A. into 20 turnovers.
The Raptors will try to finish their five-game western road trip with a winning record. Toronto won at Denver and Utah, but lost in Portland and Sacramento.
The Kings loss was the most recent game for the Raptors.
Kyle Lowry had 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, DeMar DeRozan poured in 18 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, losers in two of their last three games.
"I didn't think our disposition at the beginning of the game was in fighting mode or hungry mode. We haven't done anything, I'll keep repeating this, we haven't done anything in this league yet," Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said.
The Raptors still lead the Atlantic Division by 3 1/2 games over the Brooklyn Nets and return to Canada for two games before the All-Star break when DeRozan will head to New Orleans.
The Clippers beat the Raptors in the great white north on Jan. 25 and have taken four of the last five meetings, including three consecutive victories in Los Angeles.
02/07 10:27:47 ET