Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 1/30/13
With their All-Star point guard banged up, the Los Angeles Clippers have struggled on the road lately. Perhaps it's not the best time for their longest trip of the season. They open the eight-game swing against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have had to deal with their own injuries and adversity during a long slump. The Clippers try to avoid a fourth straight road loss Wednesday night when they face a Timberwolves team that will have its coach back after a three-week absence. Los Angeles (33-13) won its first three games after Chris Paul went down with a bruised right kneecap, but it has dropped three of its last four without him. While he returned for two games, Paul had to be shut down again after finishing with a season-low four points and shooting 1 of 7 in a 104-96 loss to Golden State on Jan. 21. The point guard is day-to-day and coach Vinny Del Negro said there is no timetable for his return. Eric Bledsoe will continue to fill Paul's role as the Clippers try to avoid dropping four in a row on the road for the first time since Dec. 28, 2011-Jan. 25, 2012. In seven starts since Paul's injury, Bledsoe has averaged 11.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Bledsoe played 36 minutes without committing a turnover as Los Angeles stopped a four-game slide with a 96-83 win over Portland on Sunday. He's had three or fewer turnovers in six of the seven starts. Blake Griffin has also raised his game lately, averaging 23.2 points, 6.8 assists and 57.5 percent shooting in his last five. He's averaged 24.0 points in 10 career games against the Timberwolves. "It's everybody's job on this team to step up, and that's what I've tried to do," Griffin said. "Chris is a huge part of our team and he directs the game from the point guard spot." The Clippers shot 51.2 percent against the Trail Blazers, improving to 14-1 when they make at least 50.0 percent from the field. Minnesota (17-24) has allowed teams to shoot 54.5 percent in the last two games, but it's held nine straight opponents under 50.0 at home. The Timberwolves, who have been without several key players due to injury, hope to get back on track on their home court with Rick Adelman back on the bench. Minnesota went 2-9 without Adelman, who was with his wife as she dealt with seizures. The Wolves have alternated losses and wins in their last seven home games. "You feel the positive emotions get back," forward Andrei Kirilenko said of Adelman's return. "You were feeling down, but now you feel everything getting back to normal." Kirilenko has hit 54.5 percent from the floor in his last five games. Luke Ridnour finished with a season-high 22 points in a 102-101 loss at Charlotte on Saturday - Minnesota's fourth consecutive defeat. The guard led the Timberwolves with 21 points in a 90-77 loss to the Clippers in the last meeting Jan. 17. Minnesota has reached 100 points in back-to-back contests after failing to score that many while averaging 88.8 in its previous eight. Los Angeles will try for its third win in as many matchups with Minnesota this season, and fourth in five games at Minneapolis.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The best pick from every NBA Draft
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

WATCH: Tyler Lockett opens 2nd half with 75-yard TD

Newton benched on first play, Anderson immediately throws INT

Former commissioner Bud Selig and Braves GM John Schuerholz are headed to the Hall of Fame

WATCH: Josh Lambo has worst FG attempt of season so far

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Chiefs win game with incredible special teams play

WATCH: Jeff Fisher lost his challenge flag vs. Patriots

Colin Kaepernick benched for Blaine Gabbert in Chicago

Gronkowski releases statement, has no plans to retire

Sean Payton unhappy about Brandin Cooks trade rumors

Report: A 2015 investigation led to Kevin Wilson’s departure from Indiana

Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 13 NFL action

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 13

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

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

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

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