Clippers try to bounce back, host T-wolves

( - The Los Angeles Clippers don't have much time to lick their wounds from a recent loss and will host the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers sustained a 106-98 loss at Golden State on Sunday and their valiant effort in the fourth quarter came up short. They recorded a 30-19 scoring advantage in the final 12 minutes, just after the Warriors posted a 30-18 scoring difference in the third quarter.

Austin Rivers led the visitors with 22 points, J.J. Redick had 18 points and Chris Paul recorded a double-double of 14 points and 11 assists. DeAndre Jordan grabbed 14 rebounds to go with six points for Los Angeles, which has lost two in a row after winning three straight and seven of nine.

"They're playing well, they're playing team basketball," Jordan said of the Western Conference-leading Warriors.

Los Angeles is just as good and can only get better when Blake Griffin returns from elbow surgery. Griffin hasn't played since Feb. 6 and is nearing a return. Head coach Doc Rivers likes the progress Griffin has made and hopes to get him back by the end of the week.

"He's able to run," Rivers said. "Shooting, he's not doing much of that yet. We can't forget he had his arm in a cast for two weeks. And that's atrophy and everything else. I think it's really close, I do. But I don't want to say that and have him not come back for a month because it could be four days, it could be a month. I've never seen this, and I don't know the answer. As a coach, it's not one of those things you can plan for."

Clippers top reserve Jamal Crawford (calf) has missed back-to-back games and is questionable versus the Timberwolves.

Los Angeles is 23-9 at home and will visit Oklahoma City and Dallas this week.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are slated to play the next four games on the road against the Clippers, Phoenix, OKC and San Antonio. They are 5-23 as the guest.

Minnesota ended a four-game losing streak with a 121-113 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, as it erupted for 40 points in the fourth quarter and made 10 straight free throws down the stretch. Ricky Rubio ended with 13 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds, while Gary Neal scored 17 of his season-high 27 points in the fourth quarter.

Kevin Martin led Minnesota with 29 points on 11-of-21 shooting. Andrew Wiggins ended with 18 points for the T-wolves, who shot a sizzling 54.1 percent.

"I thought overall we were aggressive defensively," said Wolves coach Flip Saunders.

The Wolves are 0-2 against the Clippers this season and winless in the previous 11 matchups between the teams. LA has beaten Minnesota the last five times at Staples Center.