The Clippers try to conclude their five-game homestand with another victory when they host the Hornets on Sunday.
After dropping its season opener to Phoenix on the road, Los Angeles (4-1) has won four in a row at the Staples Center, including Wednesday’s 103-85 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
“This is one of the best, maybe the best win we have had here in three years,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said after the victory.
Los Angeles is now on the verge of matching last season’s 5-0 start at home. The Clippers went on to finish the season 27-14 at the Staples Center, helping them earn their first playoff berth since 1996-97.
They have also won four straight home meetings with New Orleans, averaging 98 points while holding the Hornets to 81.8.
On Wednesday, the Clippers outscored the Mavericks 60-35 after the break to erase a seven-point halftime deficit. Sam Cassell scored 21 points and had nine assists for Los Angeles, while Elton Brand and Corey Maggette both had double-doubles.
Cuttino Mobley was the difference maker, however, scoring 28 points on 66.7 percent shooting—both season highs.
“We did well on the defensive end and it helped our offense,” said Mobley, who added seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. “They came out in that first quarter bombing and moving around. But in the second quarter, we played Clipper basketball. We played together, got some deflections and got a lot more in the second half.”
Mobley has played some of his best basketball against the Hornets, averaging 20 points—his fourth-best mark against any team—in 13 career games, while shooting 50.3 percent from the field.
The Hornets (4-2) have lost two in a row following their franchise-best 4-0 start. New Orleans blew a 27-point lead in Friday’s 92-91 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the biggest collapse in franchise history.
The Hornets outscored Portland 38-13 in the first quarter, but managed just 33 points over the next two periods.
“Right after the first quarter we were a completely different team,” said New Orleans coach Byron Scott, whose team is wrapping up a three-game road trip. “This is a game in March we’re going to look back on and kick ourselves.”
Peja Stojakovic led New Orleans with 21 points while David West added 17 points and 13 rebounds. Hornets leading scorer Chris Paul, who is averaging 19.3 points this season, matched his season-low with 12 points on 6-for-17 shooting.
Paul will try to bounce back and help the Hornets avoid a three-game losing streak. New Orleans endured five skids of three games or longer last season, when the team went just 14-27 on the road and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.