Clippers, Lakers continue rivalry

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( - The rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers has been anything but in recent years and the Los Angeles inhabitants will collide Wednesday at Staples Center.

The Clippers have won four in a row and eight of the last nine meetings with the Lakers, including a 118-111 triumph on Oct. 31. Blake Griffin scored a game-high 39 points and Kobe Bryant netted 21 points in that one.

The Clippers are 4-2 on a nine-game homestand and had a three-game winning streak come to an end with Monday's 107-98 setback to the Atlanta Hawks. Griffin had 26 points and 10 rebounds, DeAndre Jordan posted 15 points and 16 boards, and Chris Paul ended with 10 points and 10 assists.

Atlanta pushed its lead to 95-78 and scored 23 points off 21 Los Angeles turnovers.

"Defensively, we have no presence," said Paul, who is 10 assists shy of passing Reggie Theus (6,453) for 23rd on the all-time list. John Lucas is 22nd on the list with 6,454 assists.

The Clippers have won 11 of their last 13 home games and are 15-5 as the host. They will also entertain Dallas and Miami on the stay.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have dropped eight of their last 11 games and are coming off Monday's 98-94 setback at Portland. Blazers guard Damian Lillard poured in 39 points and Jordan Hill countered for LA with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Jeremy Lin and Wayne Ellington scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Lakers, who made 42 percent for the game and played without Bryant (rest). Bryant is expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday and is averaging 23.6 ppg.

"We needed Kobe down the stretch," Lakers reserve Nick Young said after the loss in Rip City.

The Lakers are 6-12 on the road and will start a four-game residency Friday versus Orlando, Portland, Miami and Cleveland.

Lakers guard Wesley Johnson (hip) is questionable against the Clippers.