It wouldn't have been a stretch to say the Los Angeles Clippers could dominate during a seven-game road trip featuring six Eastern Conference teams that hardly seem like heavyweights.
Instead, the Clippers are 1-2 on a thus-far disappointing swing that continues Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Los Angeles (13-8) started off Wednesday with a 107-97 loss to Atlanta, which came in at 9-10. The Clippers turned it around the next night with a 101-81 victory in Memphis - the lone West opponent on their trip.
What followed was a testy 88-82 loss against Cleveland on Saturday night in which Los Angeles shot a horrendous 32.2 percent and failed to score at least 90 points for the first time this season. The Cavaliers improved to 7-13 with the victory.
"We did a lot of pouting today," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who was disappointed after his team's solid all-around performance against the Grizzlies. "You can't play like that. I think we had a lot of emotional hijacks, then we missed shots."
It was by far the worst offensive game of the season for the Clippers, who went 7 for 35 from 3-point range and fell 22 points below their season scoring average.
Blake Griffin went 3 for 12 and his frustration boiled over late in the fourth quarter when he got into a scuffle with Cavs center Anderson Varejao. Varejao bumped his shoulder into Griffin, who then shoved Varejao to the floor and continued after him. Players and coaches from both teams surrounded the two players.
"He initiated contact and I pushed him. That's about it," Griffin said.
Jamal Crawford scored 19 points and Chris Paul added 13 for Los Angeles, which has lost three of four overall.
The Clippers certainly have a chance to bounce back against the 76ers (7-14), who have lost six of their last seven and 10 of 12. Los Angeles will then face three more teams that enter Monday's action with losing records - Boston (10-12), Brooklyn (6-14) and Washington (9-10).
Philadelphia held a four-point lead at the break against Denver on Saturday, but fell apart in the second half of a 103-92 loss.
Tony Wroten scored 20 points for the Sixers, who gave away the lead during a 15-2 run by the Nuggets and scored just 15 points in the fourth quarter. Philadelphia didn't even attempt a free throw in the final period.
"The right run at the right time definitely helps," said Evan Turner, who went 3 for 12 and scored six points. "I thought we had control of the game most of the game."
Turner, leading the team with 20.5 points per contest, failed to reach double digits for only the second time this season.
The Sixers followed a 24-for-48 performance in the first half by hitting 16 of their 40 shots in the second. They went 1 for 9 from 3-point range after halftime.
Philadelphia is still without rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who spent his third night in the hospital Saturday while recovering from a skin infection on his right knee. He has missed two straight games and the 76ers are 1-5 without him this season.
"It's being monitored closely, but nothing to get too overly concerned with," coach Brett Brown said before Saturday's game.
The 76ers have lost three straight and five of their last seven against the Clippers.
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