The Los Angeles Clippers have played great basketball of late and hope to continue that fine form Tuesday night when they welcome the Charlotte Bobcats to the Staples Center.
The Clips have won five of their last six, including a 107-94 victory on Saturday, at home against the Utah Jazz. They played extremely well en route to the win and it was important after an embarrassing, 116-90 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.
"The San Antonio game left a really bad taste in our mouths." said guard Chauncey Billups.
Caron Butler led the Clippers in scoring with 21, followed by 18 apiece from Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom off the bench. Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford netted 11 and 12, respectively.
The Clippers own a six-game lead over the Golden State Warriors in the Pacific Division and have a firm grip on the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference standings.
L.A. is 22-6 at home this season, which is fifth-best in the conference.
Contrast that mark with Charlotte's 6-21 road record, which is among the worst in the NBA, and this one doesn't set up to be a barn-burner on paper. The Clippers' 40 victories is tied for third in the league and Charlotte has the fewest wins with just 13.
The Bobcats head out on this four-game western trip the losers of four straight. All three losses came at home to the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Denver Nuggets.
Against the Nuggets on Saturday, Kemba Walker was spectacular in a losing effort. He scored 24 points, handed out five assists and recorded two steals.
Gerald Henderson, Jeff Taylor and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist each scored in double figures versus Denver.
Now, the Bobcats embark on a long road trip, where they'll face the Clippers, Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers.
"We're looking forward to going out there and competing," Henderson said after practice on Monday. "We're looking forward to winning, try to win every game we play."
The Clippers have won four straight against the Bobcats and Charlotte hasn't beaten the Clips in Los Angeles since Feb. 28, 2009. L.A. walked out of Charlotte with a six-point victory on Dec. 12.