Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns
Tip-off: Thursday, January 24, 2013 – 10:30 PM ET
US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ
The Los Angeles Clippers might not be able to count on Chris Paul to suit up for the next few games, most of which will take place away from home. Tonight the Clippers will make it to play against the Phoenix Suns in hopes of avoiding a third straight loss and impress their YouWager fans.
Last week Paul missed Los Angeles’ sweep of a three-game road trip because of a bruised right kneecap. The 27 year-old player tried to play in the next two games but the injury ultimately was too much to handle.
In a 106-99 defeat versus the Golden State Warriors on Monday, Paul had a season-low four points on 1-of-7 shooting and sat out a 109-97 loss versus the to Oklahoma City Thunder the following day. Blake Griffin had a season-high 31 points however the other starters combined for just 28.
Eric Bledsoe had 12 points — on 5-of-16 shooting — and four assists while starting in place of Paul. It might be up to Bledsoe to try to fill his All-Star teammates’ big shoes when Los Angeles plays 10 of their next 11 away from home.
Los Angeles has had it together in their two NBA games against Phoenix this season. The Clippers (32-11) have won those games by a combined 44 points and handed out a 103-77 rout in Phoenix on Dec. 23, snapping a string of 10 consecutive losses there.
Phoenix (14-28), the last-place team in the Pacific Division, isn’t looking quite ready for their first victory over the first-place Los Angeles team this season as they’ve lost 13 of 16 and a season-high four in a row at home.
However, the Suns pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 106-96 win versus the Sacramento Kings in its first game under interim coach Lindsey Hunter on Wednesday. Michael Beasley had 13 of his 19 points in the final period, and in addition Luis Scola scored a team-best 21 on 9-of-13 shooting.
Beasley is averaging 20.2 points on 53.8 percent shooting in 11 all-time games when meeting the Clippers, his best output versus any rival. With his assistance, Phoenix will try to avoid suffering a fifth straight home defeat for the first time since March 2004.
Los Angeles hasn’t won three straight NBA games over Phoenix in a single season since 1995-96.