The Los Angeles Clippers’ hot start is a thing of the past after four losses in the last five games — all at home — and things only get tougher as they embark on a stretch with eight of nine on the road. The first of those contests is Tuesday, when the Clippers visit the San Antonio Spurs.
Los Angeles ripped off four straight wins to begin the campaign but failed to take advantage of a five-game homestand and hits the road after dropping a 104-101 decision to the Miami Heat on Sunday despite overcoming a 25-point deficit. “The road sometimes can be very mean. And sometimes it can be great,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “You’re kind of forced together. You spend more time together on the road. You just try to build. We’re a team right now that every game is not an easy game. And so, we have to be ready to play.” The Spurs were in a similar spot with four wins to start the season followed by four losses but have since turned things around again with a pair of wins. San Antonio got strong play from its bench in each of the last two games and continues to operate without Kawhi Leonard (quad) and Tony Parker (quad).
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FSN Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), FSN Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (5-4): Los Angeles outscored the Heat 35-15 in the fourth quarter on Sunday and is trying to take that momentum out onto the road. “We’ve got to carry this over,” guard Austin Rivers said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “That feeling that we had as a team that last quarter, we’ve got to feel that. And understand that if we play like that, we give ourselves a good chance every night.” The Clippers were led by 23 points from Blake Griffin, who is averaging 23.7 points.
ABOUT THE SPURS (6-4): San Antonio had four players off the bench score in double figures in a 108-101 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday and turned the same trick during Sunday’s 112-95 drubbing of the Phoenix Suns. Shooting guard Bryn Forbes is making the most out of his opportunities off the bench and averaged 17 points on 13-of-23 shooting in those two wins. Veteran small forward Rudy Gay was brought in to lead that second unit and he is averaging 12.6 points in 23.2 minutes, scoring in double figures in eight of the team’s 10 games.
1. Spurs PG Patty Mills is 7-of-12 from 3-point range over the last two games after going 8-of-30 in the first eight contests.
2. Clippers SF Danilo Gallinari (hip) left Sunday’s game and is day-to-day.
3. Los Angeles took three of the four meetings last season, including a 98-87 triumph in San Antonio on April 8.
PREDICTION: Spurs 109, Clippers 101