Clips aim to get back on track against Bucks
The Los Angeles Clippers failed to measure up against the Oklahoma City Thunder their last time out and are back in action Wednesday night versus the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center.
The Clippers were handed a tough 108-104 loss on Sunday as Russell Westbrook gave the visitors the lead with 26.7 seconds to go and finished with 29 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Kevin Durant paced all scorers with 35 points and OKC notched 24 points off 21 L.A. turnovers.
"We fouled them too many times and we turned the ball over too many times," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We had the opportunities, but couldn't convert when we had to. The turnovers was the difference."
Chris Paul paced the Clippers with 26 points, eight assists and six boards, while Blake Griffin had 20 points and nine rebounds in defeat. Griffin took a hard shot to the groin by Thunder forward Serge Ibaka and was able to return. Griffin leads the team with 18.6 ppg and has scored at least 16 points in each of the last 10 contests.
Los Angeles had won four in a row and eight of nine games entering Sunday's game. It is still a dominant 23-7 as the host this season and will invade Denver to take on the Nuggets Thursday.
The Bucks look to extend their winning streak to a season high five straight games when they visit the Clippers.
Milwaukee will begin a three-game road trip Wednesday and made it four wins in a row with Monday's 109-108 overtime triumph versus the Utah Jazz. Monta Ellis blew up for 34 points and Brandon Jennings recorded a double-double with 20 points and 17 assists for the Bucks.
J.J. Redick scored 17 points off the bench and defensive stalwart Larry Sanders had eight points, 16 rebounds and six blocks in the win. Redick scored the Bucks' first eight points in OT. Milwaukee allowed 23 offensive boards, but led by as many as 13 points in the second half.
"Our guys are gritty and have a lot of fight in them," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said.
Sanders extended his streak with at least one blocked shot to 40 games. Elmore Smith blocked a shot in 61 straight games during the 1975-76 campaign. Sanders leads the NBA with 3.2 blocks per game.
The Bucks are 14-14 as the visitor and will also visit Golden State and Sacramento on the current jaunt. They previously won five in a row during a six-game run last March 9-20.
Milwaukee suffered a 111-85 beating at the hands of the Clippers on Dec. 15 this season at the Bradley Center and is only 5-13 in the past 18 meetings between the teams. The Bucks have also lost four in a row and 14 of 17 road games at the Clippers.