Preview: L.A. Clippers At Portland
When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon
The streaking Los Angeles Clippers strive to stretch their season-long winning streak to seven games when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. If Los Angeles can knock off the Trail Blazers, the streak could potentially reach double digits as the club plays the following five games at home.
The Clippers haven’t played since steamrolling the Philadelphia 76ers 130-99 on Saturday in their highest-scoring outing of the season. Los Angeles is 5-0 since losing All-Star power forward Blake Griffin to a quadriceps injury, and other players are picking up the scoring slack. “Everybody is building their confidence,” point guard Chris Paul told reporters. “Everybody is playing at the right pace and right spirit. We’re just trying to hold it down until the big guy gets back.” Trail Blazers standout guard Damian Lillard is back from a foot injury but struggled in his first game, scoring 17 points on 4-of-14 shooting with seven turnovers in Monday’s 91-78 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), KGW (Portland)
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (22-13): Griffin could return as soon as this weekend and Los Angeles can afford to be patient with the team playing so well without him. In fact, that has become a recurring theme – why are the Clippers playing so well without Griffin? “I don’t actually know the answer,” coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “I just know that I think our guys do a good job of not focusing on the injury and focusing on the guys that are playing. I don’t talk about it. I don’t mention it and I never have.”
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (15-22): Lillard wasn’t the only player experiencing offensive issues as Portland set a season low for points and was 7-of-28 from 3-point range against the Grizzlies. “It was a tough night offensively,” coach Terry Stotts told reporters. “Memphis did a really good job of defending us, they didn’t give us a lot to work with.” Shooting guard C.J. McCollum had an off-night with 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting after averaging 30.3 points over the previous four games.
1. The teams have split two meetings this season but the Clippers have won 10 of the past 15 matchups.
2. Los Angeles SG J.J. Redick is averaging 22.7 points and gone 13-of-18 from 3-point range over the past three games.
3. Portland SF Al-Farouq Aminu had 15 points and 14 rebounds against the Grizzlies for his sixth double-double of the season.
PREDICTION: Clippers 116, Trail Blazers 112