The Los Angeles Clippers have made good use of a favorable schedule to start the season.
The Clippers look to bounce back from a loss and remain undefeated at home Saturday when they host the Philadelphia 76ers.
After Saturday’s game, the Clippers will have played six of their first eight games at Staples Center, where they are 5-0. Both their losses have been on the road.
“You’ve got to protect your homecourt,” Clippers forward Elton Brand said. You’ve got to send a message to other teams that it’s going to be tough to win at Staples Center—especially when you play the Clippers.”
The Clippers (5-2) play four of their next five on the road after this game, but even that isn’t as bad as it sounds.
The first of that stretch is a “road game” Tuesday against the Lakers, who share Staples Center as a home arena with the Clippers.
After a 112-90 loss last Tuesday at Utah, Los Angeles will be eager to get back home. The Clippers went without a basket for nearly 11 minutes in the second half, finally ending the drought when Corey Maggette nailed a jumper.
Los Angeles had won its previous three games by an average of 16 points.
“What we did tonight was not a lot,” said point guard Sam Cassell, who celebrates his 37th birthday on Saturday.
The Clippers are averaging 101.4 points at Staples Center. They’ve won the last three meetings with Philadelphia at home. However, the Sixers have won seven of the last 10 matchups overall.
This is the finale of a three-game road trip for the Sixers, who split the first two games. They beat Seattle 96-90 on Wednesday before losing 106-94 to Phoenix on Friday.
Unlike the Clippers, Philadelphia (4-4) has 10 of its first 15 games on the road, where it’s 2-3.
Allen Iverson shot only 8-for-22 against the Suns but finished with 23 points, his 20th consecutive game with at least 20 points.
“It was tough having to play with the pain,” said Iverson, who played with an abscessed wisdom tooth.
Willie Green had 20 points off the bench for the Sixers, who went 2-for-14 from 3-point range and missed nine of 27 free-throw attempts.
“Tonight was not one of our better nights,” 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. “We didn’t defend and we didn’t score. In the first quarter, they got eight layups. I think our defense was bad, but our offense was worse.”
Chris Webber sat out the fourth quarter for the fourth time in eight games.
Before the game, Webber denied requesting a trade, despite his diminished with role with the team.
“No, I haven’t asked to be traded,” said Webber, who’s averaging 10 points on 38 percent shooting in 29.3 minutes. “I did say I was frustrated with the situation, but that’s pretty much as far as it goes.”
Webber has career averages of 21.5 points and 37.9 minutes.