Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 4/15/13
Following a key victory in the fight for home-court advantage, the Los Angeles Clippers control their own destiny in the final week of the regular season. The Portland Trail Blazers are simply trying to end one of the longest losing streaks in franchise history. The Clippers hope to take another step toward securing home-court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs when they host the sinking Blazers on Tuesday night. Los Angeles (54-26) gained an edge in its potential first-round matchup with Memphis as Chris Paul hit a free throw with 18.3 seconds left to earn a 91-87 road win Saturday. DeAndre Jordan finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, winners of five in a row. Fourth-seeded Los Angeles took three of four from the fifth-place Grizzlies and would own home-court advantage should they finish with the same record. The Clippers are also within striking distance of third-seeded Denver with two games remaining. "Before this, we had certain things that had to happen in order for us to move up," Paul said. "Now, if we want home court, we control it." The Clippers, a franchise-best 31-9 at home, will need win for the third time in four meetings with the Blazers (33-47). Playing without injured starters LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum, Portland started four rookies and dropped its 11th straight Sunday, 118-109 at Denver. With two games left, Portland will try to avoid matching a team-worst 13-game skid set in 1971-72. The Blazers, who have lost by an average of 14.4 points during their slide, could be short-handed again in this contest with all three starters expected to be game-time decisions. Damian Lillard helped to fill the offensive void Sunday with 30 points, but the rookie point guard also committed a season-high eight turnovers. "It was tough because of how they guarded me," Lillard said. "Without having any other starters out there, they paid a lot more attention to me." Lillard had 38 points in a 113-106 loss to the Lakers on Wednesday. Lillard and Batum each scored 20 and Batum notched a triple-double in a 101-100 home win over the Clippers on Jan. 26. Paul missed that meeting - and a 96-83 home win over Portland the following night - because of a bruised right kneecap. Blake Griffin, who had 12 points and nine rebounds while shooting 5 of 12 on Saturday, has hit the 20-point mark in four career home games against the Blazers. He's totaled 47 points in the past two overall matchups this season. The Clippers have averaged 115.3 points and 54.3 percent shooting during their three-game winning streak at home. They should have a good chance for another big offensive effort against a Portland team that's allowed an average of 109.0 points and 51.8 percent shooting during its skid. Los Angeles has won five of seven in this series, including three in a row at home.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Masahiro Tanaka joins Yankees legends with dominant Game 5 start

Willson Contreras admires his work after crushing 491-foot home run

Jeremy Lin to have knee injury evaluated amid ‘tremendous concern’

Bulls' Mirotic out 4-6 weeks, Portis suspended eight games

Gordon Hayward to undergo surgery Wednesday night

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Harbaugh defends quarterbacks from blame for Michigan’s struggles

Gronk: Patriots told not to discuss Super Bowl LI this week

Vikings backup QB: Bridgewater looked normal in return to practice

Carmelo Anthony: Phil Jackson wanted 'to trade me for a bag of chips'

Tampa named official host of Super Bowl LV in 2021

Bill Belichick dubs Rob Gronkowski 'Twinkle toes' after last week's TD

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

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