Celtics begin western trek vs. Clippers

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers will try to avoid losing their third straight game at home when they welcome the Boston Celtics to Staples Center on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Clippers are 17-7 at home and posted a 117-108 road win over the Sacramento Kings Saturday night thanks to Blake Griffin's game-high 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting. Matt Barnes had 26 points and 10 rebounds, while J.J. Redick netted 18 points.

"I saw we were struggling there in the first half so I had to pick it up for my team," said Barnes. "In the third quarter we were able to open it up a little bit. We had a run there that really got us going."

Chris Paul registered 12 points and nine assists for Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, which has won seven of its last 10 games, will host Brooklyn on Thursday and is fourth in the NBA with 106.9 ppg. The Clippers are third in field goal percentage (47.2) and 11-8 against Eastern Conference opponents.

The Celtics will begin a six-game western sojourn Monday against the Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Boston is only 4-12 on the road this season and has lost six of the last seven as the guest. It went 1-2 on a recent homestand and suffered a 119-103 setback to the Chicago Bulls on Friday, as Jared Sullinger posted a team-best 20 points.

Brandon Bass (16), Kelly Olynyk (14),Tyler Zeller (12) and Evan Turner (11) rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Celtics, who shot 49.4 percent from the field and made 14-of-16 free throws.

"It's on us as individuals to be up and ready," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

The Celtics have lost 11 of their last 14 games and will play the first of two matchups with the Clippers Monday afternoon. Both teams will meet again March 29 in Beantown.

LA took both games against Boston last season and has won four of the previous six contests in this series.