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Clippers-Knicks Preview

AP - Sports

Chris Paul's absence didn't hinder the Los Angeles Clippers as they completed a perfect homestand, and they're hoping the same can be said after their upcoming road trip.

Los Angeles plays its first of seven straight road games Friday night as it seeks a fourth consecutive victory over the New York Knicks.

The Clippers (27-13) have won four of five since Paul separated his shoulder Jan. 3 and are on the verge of a five-game winning streak that would match their season high.

J.J. Redick scored a career-high 33 points and Blake Griffin added 23 as the Los Angeles rallied from a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Dallas 129-127 on Wednesday to sweep its four-game homestand.

Matt Barnes had 25 points off the bench, and Jamal Crawford hit two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to give the Clippers the lead.

Darren Collison, averaging 16.6 points with a 3.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio over the last five in place of Paul, had 13 points and 10 assists. Though the Clippers have had success since their star point guard went down, they're hoping to be even better on their second seven-game trip of the season.

Los Angeles went 4-3 on the previous trip Dec. 4-14.

"We want to play better. We really do, even without Chris," coach Doc Rivers told the team's official website. "I thought we were very inconsistent in our play. And you have to be a consistent team on the road. That doesn't mean you're going to win, but I think you give yourself a (better) shot."

Each game during the trip will be against an Eastern Conference foe, including a date Saturday with an Indiana team that is 20-1 at home.

"We want to perform a lot better than we did that last road trip," Griffin said. "I thought it was pretty disappointing last time around, so it's going to be tough being on the road in the same situation without our point guard. But guys have to step up and I'm sure guys will."

Griffin and Redick scored 15 points apiece to help the Clippers beat the Knicks 93-80 on Nov. 27. They've won three straight in the series by an average of 13.3 points and will look to deal New York a third straight defeat after it fell 117-89 to the Pacers on Thursday.

Carmelo Anthony, who needed 23 shots to score 27 points in the last meeting with Los Angeles, finished with 28 to lead the Knicks (15-24).

''They're a good team, but I don't think they're 30 points better than our team,'' said coach Mike Woodson, whose team shot 40 percent from the field. ''We were awful.''

Tyson Chandler had 13 points and Raymond Felton added 12, but New York lost former Clipper Kenyon Martin in the second quarter and Amare Stoudemire in the third quarter to sprained left ankles. It's unclear if either will play against Los Angeles.

The Clippers signed Hedo Turkoglu for the rest of the season Thursday to add another option off the bench. He's expected to join Los Angeles for its road trip.

"He's another shooter," Rivers said. "Sometimes you don't bring a guy in because someone's not doing something. It's because he does something that our other guys do as well. He can space the floor. He's very skilled and we'd like to take advantage of that."

Turkoglu hasn't played since Feb. 4 with Orlando, battling a hand injury while also serving a 20-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.

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