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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 4th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (23-12) at San Antonio Spurs (25-8), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs will try to put Thursday's ugly loss behind them when they welcome the Los Angeles Clippers to the AT&T Center Saturday night.
The Spurs saw their three-game winning streak come to an end on Thursday when the lowly New York Knicks came to San Antonio and left with a 105-101 victory.
The game was tied at 101-101 when Carmelo Anthony missed a left corner three, but the rebound ricocheted high up into the air. Iman Shumpert leapt high to bank in the tip-in and give the Knicks a 103-101 lead.
Marco Belinelli was off the mark on a triple from the top of the arc for San Antonio and Anthony hit a pair of free throws to seal the outcome.
Belinelli nailed six 3-pointers and finished with 32 points for the Spurs, who are only 3-3 in their last six in San Antonio. Tony Parker chipped in 12 points and Manu Ginobili registered a double-double with 11 points and 12 assists.
The starting frontcourt of Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter only combined for 23 points.
"I thought they were more physical than we were. I thought we were very poor in that area," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said.
The Clippers are in the midst of a two-game winning streak, highlighted by a costly seven-point victory in Dallas on Friday night.
Chris Paul exited with a shoulder injury midway through the third quarter, and after the game, head coach Doc Rivers said the All-Star point guard is expected to miss approximately 3-5 weeks with a right shoulder sprain. Paul will travel with the team to San Antonio on Saturday, then get re-evaluated when the Clips get back to Los Angeles.
"Obviously, you don't ever want it," Rivers said. "But I talk about it all the time. Stuff happens and you've just got to figure it out and get through the adversity part of it and keep winning."
Darren Collison is expected to replace Paul in the starting lineup.
LA's talented frontcourt of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, who each scored 25 points and combined for 33 rebounds, carried the Clippers in Paul's absence.
Collison was great in relief with 20 points, followed by 19 from Paul and 17 from Jamal Crawford.
The Clippers play their next four at home.
The Clippers beat the Spurs by 23 in Los Angeles on Dec. 16 and have taken three of the last five meetings. LA has won two of the last three regular- season matchups in San Antonio, but the Spurs have actually won 18 of the last 20 at home.
01/04 10:31:35 ET
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