The Los Angeles Clippers have played well at home. It’s on the road, however, where they need to show improvement.
Looking for a fifth consecutive victory overall, the Clippers could be in for a challenge while trying to snap a four-game road losing streak Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, winners of five straight at home.
The Clippers are 12-8 at home where they’ve won six in a row, but 5-10 away from Staples Center. Los Angeles opens a three-game trip and plays 11 of the next 14 games away from home.
“We need to take this show on the road,” coach Mike Dunleavy said. “We’ve been playing the best we have this year, but there is better play to come.”
That could be a tall order against Memphis (18-18), which is trying to win six straight at home for the first time since March 14-26, 2006. Los Angeles is 2-1 against the Grizzlies this season, losing 106-91 at the FedEx Forum on Nov. 18. The Clippers are 5-11 all-time at Memphis, where they’ve lost three of four.
The Clippers are averaging more points (98.7) on the road than at home (94.4), but are giving up 101.7 points per game away from home - 6.5 more than they’re allowing at Staples.
Defense, however, has been a key to the Clippers winning five of their last six. Los Angeles is allowing 91.8 points in its last six contests - five of which were played at home.
Gordon had 29 points in Los Angeles’ 89-88 home win over Memphis in the teams’ last meeting Nov. 29. The second-year guard is averaging 18.5 points in four career games versus the Grizzlies.
Kaman, meanwhile, is averaging 23.2 points and 10.8 rebounds in his last 13 games. The 7-footer’s health has been a key reason for his and the team’s success. He’s played all 35 games - four more than his total from an injury-plagued 2008-09 season.
Davis, meanwhile, has missed one game after playing 65 during a disappointing first season with the Clippers. The veteran guard had a team-high 23 points in the Clippers’ loss at Memphis in November.
The Grizzlies hope to stall the Clippers’ momentum by continuing their own strong play at home while trying to bounce back from an 89-87 loss at Charlotte on Saturday.
O.J. Mayo(notes) scored 25 points and Zach Randolph(notes) added 17 with 12 rebounds, but Gerald Wallace(notes) leaped over Randolph and dropped in a missed shot for the winner at the buzzer to send the Grizzlies to their second loss in three contests.
Returning to the FedEx Forum could help the Grizzlies forget about that defeat. Memphis is averaging 107.4 points and shooting 48.0 percent during its five-game home winning streak.
Randolph is averaging 25.3 points with 14.8 rebounds in his last 11 games. He averaged 20.9 and 9.4 rebounds in 39 games for the Clippers in 2008-09, and 15.0 points and 8.7 boards in the first three against his former team this season.