Chris Paul and the Clippers will resume their hunt for the Pacific Division crown as well as home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs when they host the New Orleans Hornets at Staples Center.
The Clips are coming off a tough 93-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns in the desert on Thursday.
Paul, the former franchise cornerstone of the Hornets, had 19 points and 10 assists, while Blake Griffin netted 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in that one for Los Angeles. Despite the setback the Clips have won 13 of 16 overall and are just one-half game behind the Lakers for the top spot in the Pacific as well as the third seed in the West with three games to play.
"We weren't able to make a couple of plays down the stretch," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Mo (Williams) has a good look at a three and we go up two if he knocks that down and it's kind of half in and out and that's what you've got to do, you've got to make plays."
The Clips have a game in hand on the Lakers, who host Oklahoma City at Staples Center earlier on Sunday, but lost the season series tiebreaker to Kobe and company.
The Hornets, meanwhile, played spoiler on Thursday when Eric Gordon scored a game-high 27 points as the New Orleans Hornets put a dent in the Houston Rockets' playoff hopes with a 105-99 overtime victory at New Orleans Arena.
Carl Landry added 20 points, including seven in overtime, to go along with 10 rebounds while Al-Farouq Aminu finished with a season-high 17 points for the Hornets, who won for the fifth time in six games.
"We're just trying to play the game. We knew they were still trying to make the playoffs, but the best team won tonight," said Gordon. "They're still a really good team. Hopefully, they make the playoffs, but we're just trying to get better."
These two teams have split a pair of matchups so far this season with each holding serve on its home floor.
Gordon will be returning to LA and could face his former teammates for the first time since he was included in the blockbuster trade that brought Paul to the Clippers. The Indiana product missed both of the earlier games following arthroscopic right knee surgery and coach Monty Williams could opt to rest him.
The Clips have won 10 of 11 at Staples Center with the lone loss coming to the Lakers.