NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, December 16th (All times Eastern)
San Antonio Spurs (19-4) at Los Angeles Clippers (16-9), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers finally return home to the Staples Center on Monday when they host one of the best in the league, the San Antonio Spurs.
L.A. returns home after a two-week, seven-game odyssey east. The Clips went 4-3 on the excursion and lead the Pacific Division by just a game over the Phoenix Suns.
The Clippers' most recent victory came Saturday night when they bested the Washington Wizards, 113-97.
"We wanted to turn this thing from an okay trip to a good trip," All-Star guard Chris Paul said. "We just wanted to win the game. That's what we went in with the mentality of, win the game, because it's a long flight back home and we've got a lot of sore losers on this team. We just wanted to come out and play the right way and I thought we did for the most part."
The Clippers built a 13-point lead at the half and held on in the second half.
Paul led the way with a magnificent performance of 38 points and 12 assists. He only committed two turnovers in the rousing victory, which saw the Clippers shoot 56.5 percent from the field.
Jamal Crawford, who started for the first time in 101 regular-season games with the Clippers, scored 17 points in 39 minutes. Blake Griffin and Jared Dudley both had 16 for L.A. and DeAndre Jordan finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Spurs head to Hollywood in the middle of not just a four-game winning streak, but also a four-game trip west. So far, San Antonio is 1-0 with a 100-84 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
Tim Duncan was his old self on Saturday with 22 points and 12 rebounds, both game highs.
"He's getting his shot back. He missed a couple tonight, but at least he's taking them and he looks good. And in the post, he's aggressive. He's making strong moves defensively. Everything, his game, he's getting back into his groove," Spurs point guard Tony Parker said of Duncan.
Parker was next highest in the scoring column with 15, followed by Kawhi Leonard, who had 13 points. Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills both netted 11 off the bench.
The Spurs held the Jazz under 40 percent shooting from the field.
San Antonio will also visit the Suns and Golden State Warriors on this trip.
The two teams split last season's four meetings, although the Spurs won the last two. San Antonio has owned this matchup, winning 22 of the last 26, including an 11-2 clip in Los Angeles.
12/16 11:02:37 ET