Hornets-Clippers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 19, 2012
The Los Angeles Clippers haven't lost since hosting the New Orleans Hornets over three weeks ago. Beating them this time at Staples Center would match the longest winning streak in franchise history. Blake Griffin looks for a much better performance this time against the Hornets as the Clippers go for an 11th straight win Wednesday night. Griffin had the worst game of his career and fouled out of a 105-98 loss to New Orleans (5-19) on Nov. 26. He finished with a career-low four points on 1 of 9 from the floor while grabbing six rebounds with four turnovers. Griffin had been averaging 21.4 points and 11.8 rebounds while connecting on 54.9 percent from the field over the previous five meetings. The star forward, however, is one of the reasons the Clippers (18-6) haven't lost since that matchup. Los Angeles has reeled off 10 wins in a row, one shy of the team record set from Nov. 3-23, 1974, when they were the Buffalo Braves. The team is averaging 104.6 points during the current streak, with four players scoring over 12.0 per game. Griffin leads the way at 19.8. Griffin and Jamal Crawford led five players in double figures with 15 points apiece in an 88-76 victory at Detroit on Monday. It was the second time in three games that Los Angeles shot under 45.0 percent and won. "We didn't shoot very well, and we didn't do a lot of things we wanted to do," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We just had a lot of guys make plays down the stretch and we get to go home with another win. Early in the season, we probably lose that game, but now we've gotten to the point where we can win ugly." Another strong performance from Chris Paul against his former team may make things easier on the Clippers. He's averaging 23.5 points and 10.0 assists in four games versus the Hornets since they traded him to the Clippers for three players and a first-round pick last December. Paul had 20 points, eight assists and four steals against them last month. While Los Angeles has surged to the top of the Pacific Division since that meeting, New Orleans is in a 1-10 tailspin, including a season-high eight-game slide that has dropped it to bottom of the Western Conference. The Hornets lost nine in a row from Jan. 11-25. If the Clippers can get past struggling New Orleans, they'll have a chance to break the record winning streak Friday against Sacramento, the last-place team in the Pacific. Before that, the Hornets will try to spoil any celebrations, and Ryan Anderson will likely play a key role in that. The forward leads New Orleans with 19.0 points per game, but he's produced 24.7 over the past three games after scoring 28 off the bench Tuesday. Anderson had 17 points and eight rebounds against the Clippers on Nov. 26. Greivis Vasquez had a career high-tying 25 points and 10 assists in that meeting, and has totaled 43 and 22 over the first two of this four-game road trip, which ends in San Antonio on Friday.
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