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Clippers-Raptors Preview

AP - Sports

Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers are tied for the most wins in 2014, but the Toronto Raptors aren't far behind thanks to a strong stretch at home.

The Clippers are well aware of what the Raptors are capable of at Air Canada Centre.

Griffin looks to continue his impressive production, and help the Clippers snap a four-game road losing streak to the Raptors in a matchup of division leaders Saturday night.

Griffin is averaging 26.3 points over the past 17 games after scoring 17.9 over the previous 14. The All-Star forward's recent success has spurred Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles (30-15) to nine wins in 12 games, matching Oklahoma City, Brooklyn and Chicago for the most victories in the new year.

That stretch also includes a 7-3 record without Chris Paul, sidelined with a separated shoulder. Griffin has picked up the slack, averaging 24.9 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 54.7 percent from the field.

"Blake doesn't run from a challenge," guard Jamal Crawford said. "He's one of the hardest workers I've seen."

Griffin came up big again Friday, finishing three assists shy of a triple-double with 26 points and 13 rebounds in a 112-95 road win over the Bulls.

"(I want to be) a leader for us, knocking down shots and being able to mix up my game, going inside when I felt the need to and going outside when I needed to," Griffin said.

Although the Clippers are averaging 108.6 points over the past 12 games, they've been held to 83.5 while shooting 39.7 percent from the floor in four consecutive losses at Toronto (22-20).

They were dreadful there again Feb. 1, falling 98-73 while making just 3 of 19 from long range, with Griffin scoring 17 points on 4-of-11 shooting.

The Raptors, who have won eight of 13 in 2014, seek their eighth win in nine home games Saturday. Their strong play at home has been keyed by a defense that's allowed 91.6 points and held opponents to 43.8 percent from the floor in that 7-1 stretch.

Toronto turned in another strong defensive effort Friday in a 104-95 victory at Philadelphia, limiting the 76ers to 42.7 percent shooting and holding a 53-42 rebounding advantage.

Kyle Lowry had his own impressive performance in the win, collecting 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his fourth career triple-double. He had missed all 10 of his attempts from the floor, including six 3-pointers and finished with a season-low three points in a 93-85 home win over Dallas two days prior.

"As long as it's with a win, I'm happy to have it," Lowry said of his triple-double. "I'll take the thanks from the team and congratulations from all my teammates. But as long as it came with a win, that's all that really matters."

DeMar DeRozan leads the Raptors with a career-high 21.8 points per game, but he's putting up 30.5 over the last four games. The guard scored 34 points - 16 in the fourth quarter - with nine rebounds Friday after getting a career-high 40 points on 15 for 22 from the floor against the Mavericks.

DeRozan totaled 43 points on 52.9 percent from the field while Toronto split two meetings with Los Angeles last season.

Crawford is averaging 23.2 points off the bench in the past five games for the Clippers, but has been limited to 11.8 on 29.8 percent shooting over his four latest meetings with the Raptors.

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