Nets-Clippers Preview

While the Los Angeles Clippers will go as far as Chris Paul and Blake Griffin lead them, DeAndre Jordan remains a huge part of their success.

Jordan tries to build on another big game as the Clippers go for a third consecutive win Thursday night against the visiting Brooklyn Nets.

It’s hard to imagine where Los Angeles (28-14) would be without Jordan, who leads the NBA with 13.4 rebounds per game and a field-goal percentage of 72.1 – the league’s highest mark since Wilt Chamberlain shot 72.7 percent in 1972-73.

The seventh-year center is also averaging 2.4 blocks to rank second in the NBA.

"A lot of stuff that DJ does doesn’t show up on the stats," Paul told the team’s official website. "If he goes up there and contests a shot, doesn’t block it and somebody else gets the rebound, that doesn’t show up on your phone. It’s just one of those things where you’ve got to be selfless. I think DJ is one of those guys; we don’t do any of this stuff without him."

Jordan has gone 26 of 31 from the floor over the last four games while averaging 15.8 points, well above his season mark of 10.0. He scored 19 to go with 12 boards and six blocks in Monday’s 102-93 win over Boston.

While Jordan has never been an All-Star, his teammates are hoping to see him finally make an appearance at next month’s showcase.

"There’s like 22 guys in the West that should make the All-Star team. DeAndre is a max player, a great player, he’s a star," guard J.J. Redick said. "Sometimes because guys don’t put up huge scoring numbers, they don’t get maybe the superstar recognition, but he’s as good as they come defensively."

Defense has been key for the Clippers, who have won 21 in a row when allowing 102 points or fewer. Los Angeles is giving up 98.9 per game at Staples Center compared to 102.8 on the road.

The Clippers have taken three straight and nine of 10 from Brooklyn at home. They appear to have a favorable matchup against a Nets team that’s averaged just 92.0 points over its last 10 games.

Brooklyn, though, improved to 2-8 over that stretch with Wednesday’s 103-100 win at Sacramento, its fifth road victory in seven games. Brook Lopez led the way with 22 points and a season-high six blocks off the bench as the Nets held on after nearly blowing a 23-point lead.

Lopez, who shot 8 of 15, has become the subject of recent trade rumors.

"I’ve been on the trading block for 6 1/2 years, so that doesn’t bother me," he said. "I just live with it."

Lopez is averaging 21.0 points over the last three games and 21.4 in his last seven against the Clippers.

Griffin is averaging 26.2 points on 56.2 percent shooting over a six-game stretch at home. Los Angeles has split those contests after opening 15-4 on its own court.

The Clippers are averaging 106.7 points, good for fourth in the NBA.

Brooklyn has managed 90.2 per game in dropping three straight and five of its last six on the second of back-to-backs.

Nets point guard Deron Williams, who averages 13.9 points and 6.3 assists, is traveling with the team but remains out with a rib injury.