Published January 13, 2015
Just because the Orlando Magic have lost 10 in a row doesn't mean the Los Angeles Clippers can take them lightly when the two teams collide Saturday at Staples Center.
The Clippers are 3-0 so far on a four-game homestand, which concludes with what should be an easy test versus the Magic. Los Angeles posted its 13th straight win at home with a 99-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night as Chris Paul scored 19 points and handed out 16 assists.
Los Angeles had 21 turnovers converted into 23 Dallas points and shot 48.1 percent for the game (10-of-24 3-pointers).
"We're better than we played tonight," Paul said after the Clippers improved to 18-3 at home. "We'll take the win but we know we can play better."
Clippers reserve Matt Barnes scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Blake Griffin recorded a double-double with 15 points and 13 boards for the Clippers, whose 13-game home winning streak is a franchise best. The Clips haven't suffered defeat as the host since Nov. 26 versus New Orleans and are 30-4 in the last 34 regular-season games at home.
Veteran forward Grant Hill (knee) is questionable Saturday and hasn't played all season. He is three games shy of 1,000 in his career and signed with the Clippers as a free agent in July.
After hosting the Magic, L.A. will play three straight on the road against Memphis, Houston and Minnesota.
Orlando hasn't won since Dec. 19 versus Washington and is mired in a 10-game slide -- the longest since a 13-game drought from March 13-April 10, 2004.
The Magic dropped a 108-105 decision at Denver the last time out on Wednesday as Andrew Nicholson and former Nugget Arron Afflalo scored 12 points apiece, DeQuan Jones added 11 points and Nikola Vucevic recorded a double-double with 10 points and 14 boards.
Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick scored 20 and 17 points, respectively.
"It's 10 games in a row. I don't know what else to say except we have to play better and win," said Afflalo, who was acquired from Denver in the four-team deal that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers and Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia.
Denver went to the foul line 36 times, making 22 free throws, and the Magic were sent to the charity stripe on 10 occasions (9-of-10). Orlando had a 94-87 lead late in the game until Denver posted a deciding 17-5 run.
Orlando will try to end a four-game road losing streak and is 0-2 on a four- game sojourn, which concludes Monday against the Wizards. The Magic are 5-11 away from central Florida, last winning on the road Dec. 15 at Charlotte.
The Magic hope to have forward Hedo Turkoglu Saturday and he's been hampered by a sore left hand. Turkoglu is averaging 4.0 points and 2.8 boards.
Los Angeles defeated Orlando, 107-102, in overtime in the only meeting between the teams last season on Feb. 6, ending a nine-game slide in the process.
Orlando has won four straight after losing its last four at the Clippers.