Atlanta (20-31) at Los Angeles (25-27)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 48° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Wed Feb 14, 2007
  • TV: SPSO, PRIME
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Los Angeles Clippers are finally putting an ugly road trip behind them. It would help if Elton Brand’s injury didn’t linger, either.

The Clippers (25-27), playing their first home game this month, may again be without their star forward when they conclude their season series with the Atlanta Hawks (20-31) on Wednesday night.

Brand (back spasms) was a late scratch for Los Angeles in a 92-74 loss to Detroit on Monday in the finale of the team’s 2-5 trip. It matched the Clippers’ lowest-scoring game of the season, set in an 86-74 defeat at Atlanta on Jan. 6.

Brand, who had started all of Los Angeles’ games this season, is listed as day-to-day.

“That means that other guys need to pick up the slack, but some guys aren’t used to that,” Clippers guard Cuttino Mobley said.

Brand began having problems with his back during Sunday’s 94-80 loss at Indiana, and could not get it loosened up during warmups Monday. He scored 14 points against the Pacers, seven below his team-leading average.

Los Angeles averaged 80.3 points while shooting 37 percent from the field in the last four games of the trip, and one of its victories came against Boston, which has lost 18 in a row.

The Clippers should be very happy to return home, where they have won five of their last six and eight of 10 as they look to hold onto eighth place in the Western Conference.

“We as a team have to realize a sense of urgency, especially when we are 45 or 50 games in and racing for a playoff spot,” Mobley said. “I don’t think that we are as mentally serious as we should be, we feel sorry for ourselves too much and we just need a little more pepper. Sometimes you need to have the worst happen to you for you to realize.”

Mobley had 17 points Monday and is averaging 19.0 while shooting 50 percent from the field in his last three games.

The Hawks had won five straight on the road before a 102-76 loss at Utah on Monday night. They shot 37 percent from the field after averaging 109.0 points in their previous three games.

“Our team didn’t come to compete,” said Atlanta coach Mike Woodson, whose team hadn’t lost on the road since Jan. 23. “We were a non-factor from beginning to end.”

Marvin Williams led Atlanta with 15 points Monday but got a bloody nose when he took a forearm from Utah’s Rafael Araujo early in the fourth quarter. Woodson said Araujo should be suspended.

Joe Johnson scored just 14 points—11 below his average—and Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia each had 10 for the Hawks.

Johnson is shooting 38 percent from the field in his last five games, but he had a game-high 27 points as the Hawks snapped a six-game skid against the Clippers in the teams’ first matchup.

Brand led Los Angeles with 26 points in that contest.

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Wednesday, Feb 14