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LA Clippers

Kings-Clippers Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 12:18 p.m. ET

Blake Griffin was supposed to miss two weeks with a partially torn tendon in his left quadriceps.

Three have passed, and there's still no timetable for his return to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Their next-best big man just sat out his first game in nearly five years, but the Clippers look to keep on rolling anyway and match their longest winning streak of the last three seasons Saturday night against the visiting Sacramento Kings.

Griffin, who leads Los Angeles with 23.2 points per game, has missed the last nine and coach Doc Rivers said prior to Wednesday's 104-90 win over Miami that he might not return soon. The victory also came without DeAndre Jordan, who was sidelined due to pneumonia to end the NBA's longest active games played streak at 360. It's uncertain if Jordan will be available Saturday.


Prior to the victory over the Heat, the last time Los Angeles played without Griffin and Jordan was Feb. 9, 2010.

''It's easy to start feeling sorry for yourselves when you don't have Blake and D.J.,'' Rivers said. ''But nobody mentioned it. They just kept playing. Paul (Pierce) was great at halftime. He kept saying: `We're going to win this game, guys. I'm telling you, we're going to win this game.'''

They did it with 19 points from Cole Aldrich in his first start in a Clippers uniform, while Chris Paul had 15 points and 12 assists and Pablo Prigioni recorded eight steals in 15 minutes.

Los Angeles (26-13) won its 10th straight to tie San Antonio for the longest active streak in the league. The Clippers are on their third double-digit run in four seasons and can equal their latest 11-game streak, achieved Feb. 23-March 16, 2014.

Miami is the only team with a winning record that Los Angeles has faced during the unbeaten stretch, and the Clippers follow Sacramento (16-23) by playing five of six against teams currently above .500 - the final five on the road.

The Clippers - winners of nine of 11 at home - have gone 18-3 in their last 21 against the Kings and 9-1 at Staples Center.

Their fourth and fifth straight victories in the series came Oct. 28 and 31, but they did it behind Griffin, who totaled 70 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, and Jordan with 23 points, 30 boards and 11 blocks.

Those losses were part of a 1-7 start for Sacramento, which has played much better since. The Kings snapped a two-game skid with Thursday's 103-101 win at Utah.

Rudy Gay scored 24 points and hit the winning shot with less than a second left, and DeMarcus Cousins remained hot with 36 points and 17 rebounds. The center has averaged 33.0 points and 14.2 boards in the last six games.

Coach George Karl inserted Willie Cauley-Stein back into the starting lineup against the Jazz, hoping to shore up the defense after Sacramento had allowed an average of 115.5 points over the previous eight games.

"We have weaknesses and his skills are at the defensive end of the court where probably more of our priorities are right now," Karl said.

Cousins scored 32 points in the 111-104 home loss Oct. 28 but just 13 in a 114-109 defeat at Los Angeles three days later.


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