Clippers entertain Raptors at Staples Center

The suddenly-dangerous Los Angeles Clippers could be game homestand this afternoon versus the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center.

Newcomer Chris Paul is nursing a hamstring injury and has missed the last four games, with the Clippers going 2-2 over that stretch. Paul is averaging 18.0 points and 8.4 assists this season and will most likely be a game-time decision Sunday. Small forward Caron Butler, who is averaging 14.8 points, did not play in Friday's 101-98 loss to Minnesota due to a knee problem.

Butler underwent an MRI and it revealed no structural damage. Butler is listed as questionable today for a Clippers team that was burned by Kevin Love's three-pointer at the buzzer. Mo Williams scored a game-high 25 points before being ejected in the fourth quarter for the Clippers, who are 1-1 on the homestand, 7-2 as the host and entered the game having won seven of nine.

"We didn't lose the game on that play," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said of Love's shot. "We turned the ball over too much and we didn't execute when we needed to. It's a little frustrating right now."

Los Angeles, which saw its seven-game home win streak come to an end, was coming off of Wednesday's dramatic 91-89 win over the Mavericks, in which Chauncey Billups drained the game-winning three-pointer with one second left. Billups had 20 points in the most recent contest and Blake Griffin finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Williams is averaging 25.5 ppg in his last two games, while Butler is 68 points away from the 10,000 mark.

Billups is seven games shy of 1,000 in his career.

Toronto hopes to put an end to its seven-game losing streak Sunday in the opener of a five-game road trip against the Clippers, Suns, Jazz, Nuggets and Nets. It is just 2-7 away from Air Canada Centre this season and has lost five in a row as the guest.

The Raptors lost for the ninth time in 10 tries with Friday's 94-84 setback versus Portland, as James Johnson had a career-high 23 points and DeMar DeRozan chipped in 22 points in defeat. Leandro Barbosa had 17 points for Toronto, which shot 36.6 percent and lost the battle on the boards by a lopsided 55-40 margin. Jose Calderon matched a season-high with 13 assists.

"The mark of a young team is learning how to play those four quarters," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. "Once we do that, I think we're going to be a good team."

Toronto's leading scorer, Andrea Bargnani, missed his fifth straight game with a strained left calf. Bargnani and Jerryd Bayless (ankle) are both listed as questionable against the Clippers.

Through 16 games, Toronto has held its opponent to under 100 points a league-best 15 times. The Raptors have now allowed less than 100 points in 12 straight games (Jan. 2-20) -- the longest streak since the 2003-04 season when they had a run of 21 games (Jan. 23-Mar. 3, 2004). DeRozan is averaging 13.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in nine road games this season.

The Raptors and Clippers split two games a year ago, with each team winning as the host, but Toronto is 8-2 in the previous 10 meetings between the clubs. These two teams have split the past 14 matchups at Staples Center.