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Reply To: NBA • Monday Service Plays • 12/7/15

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Preview: L.A. Clippers At Minnesota

When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, December 7, 2015

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Los Angeles Clippers picked up a win without the services of their starting backcourt but hope to avoid operating like that out on the road. The Clippers hope to get Chris Paul (ribs) and J.J. Redick (ankle) back when they begin a five-game road trip at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.

Paul has missed the last two games and Redick sat out Saturday after suffering the ankle injury in the first quarter of a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. Jamal Crawford stepped up with 16 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter and Wesley Johnson also performed well in a 103-101 win over the Orlando Magic on Saturday. The Timberwolves have spent a lot of time covering for injuries to their own starting point guard, but Ricky Rubio began to look like his healthy self with 15 assists in a loss to Portland on Saturday. The setback dropped Minnesota to 0-2 on its four-game homestand and to 2-8 overall in its own building.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), FSN North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (11-9): Johnson came off the bench but logged 36 minutes on Saturday and ended up scoring 21 points while going 6-of-12 from 3-point range. “You always hope guys get a little confidence going and they feel very involved,” Los Angeles forward Blake Griffin told reporters of Johnson. “But it speaks to the way Wes prepared and came in and was ready to play off the bat. When guys get hurt, we have to have that next guy mentality.” Austin Rivers started at point guard in place of Paul and had as many turnovers (four) as assists while scoring five points on 2-of-7 shooting.

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (8-11): The home struggles are curious, and Minnesota let a 17-point lead drift away in a 109-103 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. “It seems like when we get to a point where we are up 10, 12, we kind of relax,” Rubio told reporters. “We have to learn off our mistakes. It’s something that hurts, it’s painful. We have to look for some solutions.” The Timberwolves went 17-of-44 from the floor in the second half of the loss to the Trail Blazers.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Timberwolves rookie C Karl-Anthony Towns posted 27 points and 12 rebounds on Saturday – his highest scoring total since putting up 28 on Oct. 30.

2. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan is 18-of-57 from the free-throw line over the last four games.

3. Los Angeles has taken 13 straight in the series.

PREDICTION: Timberwolves 108, Clippers 107