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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 8th (All times Eastern)

Phoenix Suns (7-13) at Los Angeles Clippers (12-6), 3:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers target their fifth straight win when they resume a three-game homestand Saturday afternoon versus the Pacific Division-rival Phoenix Suns at Staples Center.

The Clippers have won four in a row since a four-game slide and opened the homestand with a 112-90 victory over the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night. The Clippers had a 29-18 lead after the first quarter and eventually rested their starters in the final period as Blake Griffin registered 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Chris Paul ended with 14 points and 13 assists.

"I think our starters did a better job tonight. I thought we did a pretty good job for four quarters," Griffin said after L.A. improved to 9-0 this season when holding opponents to 43-percent shooting or worse.

Jamal Crawford had 20 points, Caron Butler scored 16 and DeAndre Jordan 12 for the Clippers, who shot 50 percent for the game and posted their third win in a row as the host. The Clips grabbed a season-high 18 steals -- five by Paul -- and their franchise record is 22.

Los Angeles, which has scored at least 29 points in eight of the last 11 quarters, is averaging 101.5 points per game and is 8-3 at home. It also is 9-3 against teams from the Western Conference.

Crawford leads the NBA in bench scoring with 17.8 ppg. The Clippers' reserves are posting 40.7 points per game.

The Clippers will close out the homestand Sunday versus Toronto.

Phoenix is arguably the worst defensive team in the NBA, allowing 102.7 ppg, and has lost five in a row. The Suns are also winless in their last four on the road.

In a 97-94 setback versus the Mavericks Thursday in the desert, Markieff Morris and Goran Dragic scored 15 points apiece and Luis Scola netted 13 off the bench for the Suns, who shot 40 percent from the floor and received 11 points apiece from Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley.

Morris added a career-best 17 rebounds in defeat and Dragic has scored in double digits in 19 of 20 games.

The Suns, who were coming off a 1-5 road trip, used a 16-6 run to tie the game at 87-87, but the Mavs pulled away and were paced by O.J. Mayo's 23 points. Dallas started the second half by scoring 23 of the first 27 points.

Phoenix turned the ball over 13 times, which led to 16 Dallas points.

"Our goal is to keep playing and turn our season around," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said.

Gentry's club is just 2-9 away from the Valley of the Sun. After Saturday's game in L.A., Phoenix will return to U.S. Airways Center for a five-game homestand versus the Magic, Grizzlies, Jazz, Kings and Bobcats.

Phoenix won three of four meetings with the Clippers last season and is 17-3 in the past 20 matchups between the teams. The Suns have won six of eight and eight of their last 11 at the Clippers.

12/08 10:29:53 ET

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