Lakers-Clippers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 06, 2013
After capturing their franchise-record 50th victory, the Los Angeles Clippers have an opportunity to reach another milestone. Fittingly enough, it could come against their Staples Center co-tenants. The Clippers look to clinch the first division title in their 42-year history and deliver a big blow to the Los Angeles Lakers' playoff hopes Sunday. The Clippers (50-26) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 126-101 victory over Phoenix on Wednesday, topping the single-season record for wins set in 1974-75 when the team was in Buffalo. "It's big,'' said center DeAndre Jordan, who led the way with 20 points and 12 rebounds, "but we're looking at the bigger picture. This is one thing we can check off.'' Now the Clippers can add a division title to their list of accomplishments and end the Lakers' five-year stranglehold on the Pacific with a win or a Golden State loss to Utah on Sunday. After taking the first three matchups by an average of 13.0 points, the Clippers also have a chance to sweep this season series for the first time since 1974-75. "Whenever you do something first it's significant, but we expect more and we should,'' coach Vinny Del Negro said. The Lakers will try to keep their hold on the final Western Conference playoff spot following a hard-fought 86-84 home win over Memphis on Friday. Kobe Bryant had 24 points and nine assists while Pau Gasol scored 19 and added nine rebounds for the Lakers (40-36), who won their third in a row and maintained a half-game lead over the Jazz for eighth place. The Lakers, winners of 13 of 15 at home, play five of their final six at Staples Center, though they're the road team for this game. "This is the big push for us,'' Bryant said. "We've got a very tough stretch, and we're excited. You want to be going into the playoffs feeling like you're playing good ball against tough opposition. It's been a lot of figuring out we had to do, but it's better late than never.'' Bryant totaled 78 points while shooting 29 for 48 from the floor in the first two meetings, then scored 20 with 11 assists in a 125-101 loss to the Clippers on Feb. 14. The All-Star guard has averaged 33.1 points and 55.5 percent shooting in his last seven in the series. Center Dwight Howard will try to bounce back after battling foul trouble and finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds Friday. He's averaged 61.3 percent shooting against the Clippers this season. While they'll be without forward Metta World Peace (knee) for at least four weeks, the Lakers could get healthier for this matchup. Point guard Steve Nash will be a game-time decision after missing the last two with a strained right hamstring. If he's able to play, Nash may face a challenge in keeping up with counterpart Chris Paul. The Clippers' All-Star has averaged 23.5 points and 14.3 assists in his last four against the Lakers. Forward Blake Griffin scored nine points Wednesday, but he's totaled 46 and shot 20 of 31 in the last two in this series. The Clippers have averaged 112.3 points and made 30 of 66 (45.5 percent) from 3-point range in the three games. The Lakers, though, have allowed 82.5 points and 10-for-33 shooting from beyond the arc in their last two.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

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?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker