Winless at home despite very high expectations heading into the season, the Los Angeles Clippers host the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night at Staples Center.
Los Angeles surrendered 25 turnovers in their 108-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and point guard Chris Paul took the blame for his team’s poor play at home. It was the Clippers second straight loss to a rebuilding team, as they fell to the Golden State Warriors in their previous game.
"Disappointed, and it starts with me as a point guard," Paul said to the Los Angeles Daily News. "I can't let us come out and start out games like that. Giving up 30-point (first) quarters like that the past two games is always going to be tough to come back from."
Los Angeles has had trouble on the boards and taking care of the ball of late. In those two losses they’ve been out-rebounded by 24, including a combined 16 offensive boards. Los Angeles has also given up 46 turnovers in the two losses.
Those troubles may continue with power forward Blake Griffin playing through a nasty elbow injury and neck strain. Griffin will start Wednesday night despite suffering a bust bursa sac in his right elbow.
A chance for their first home win of the season may be hard to come by against San Antonio, who eliminated them from the second round of last season’s playoffs and has a 24-4 road record against the Clippers.
The 4-0 Spurs are off to their best start in franchise history after their bench scored 57 points in a 101-79 drubbing of the Indiana Pacers.
Second-year guard Gary Neal came off the bench and scored a game-high 17 points, going 8-for-10 from the floor, and San Antonio shot 44 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
Forwards Tim Duncan and Dajuan Blair each chipped in 14 points and 11 rebounds, and the Spurs blew the game open in the second half allowing Duncan to log a season-low 26 minutes.
It was the second game back for guard Manu Ginobili, who is still working his way back into the rotation. Against the Pacers, the Argentinean played 17 minutes, shooting 1-for-4.
Betting Odds: San Antonio is favored by 1.5 points
Over/Under: 203 points
Prediction: San Antonio has owned the Clippers, with a 48-6 record in their regular season series. Los Angeles has no answer for Duncan, who should have a big game, and Tony Parker should tire out Paul as the Spurs cruise to a victory.
Predicted Score: San Antonio 102, 95