Clippers-Hornets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 11, 2013
Although they've clinched their first division title and set franchise records for victories, the Los Angeles Clippers still have plenty to play for during the final week of the regular season. The Clippers resume their chase for home-court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs when they visit the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night. Los Angeles (52-26) added to its lengthy list of accomplishments Wednesday when it cruised past Minnesota 111-95 for its third straight win and franchise-best 31st home victory. While they're guaranteed a top-four seed in the West as the Pacific Division champs, the Clippers moved to within one game of fifth-seeded Memphis for home-court advantage in the first round. "We're starting to get our sense of urgency back and it's starting to show," said reserve Matt Barnes, who scored 14 points Wednesday. Los Angeles - 21-17 on the road - plays three of its final four games away from home, including a key contest at Memphis on Saturday night. The Clippers own the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies, having won two of three meetings. Los Angeles, however, can't afford to look past a New Orleans team that has lost six of eight and will be without forward Anthony Davis for the rest of the season. Davis limped off the court Wednesday after drawing an offensive foul in the fourth quarter of a 121-110 loss at Sacramento. He was diagnosed Thursday with a sprained medial collateral ligament and bone bruise in his knee, and further evaluation and an MRI showed no additional structural damage. After dropping four of five on their road trip, the Southwest Division-worst Hornets (27-52) play their first home game this month. They've won four of six at home, though one of those defeats was 105-91 to the Clippers on March 27. The teams split two previous matchups in Los Angeles. Former Clipper Eric Gordon had a team-best 23 points for New Orleans on Wednesday and finished with 24 in last month's loss in this series. The Hornets, who have averaged 91.0 points and shot 46.1 percent in the three games, will face a Los Angeles defense that has limited opponents to 42.4 percent shooting during the winning streak. "The past three games our defense has been really good. We're talking a lot more and the energy picked up," All-Star point guard Chris Paul said. Paul has also played a major role offensively, averaging 19.3 points and 11.7 assists while shooting 53.8 percent in recording three straight double-doubles. The Clippers have scored 113.0 per game while making 53.0 percent from the field over their last four. They should be able to continue that efficiency against the Hornets, who have surrendered 112.5 points on 53.0 percent shooting in consecutive losses. Los Angeles snapped a nine-game road skid in this series last month.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark


Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker