Knicks-Clippers Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 2:19 p.m. EST

The Los Angeles Clippers struggled to contain one of the league's highest-scoring teams last time out but have been incredibly stingy in recent matchups with their next opponent.

The New York Knicks are hoping to change those woes against the Clippers following a season-high scoring performance on their lengthy road trip, though they'll face much stiffer competition Friday night.

The Clippers (41-22) have displayed fine defensive form for much of the past six weeks but lost 120-108 on Wednesday at Oklahoma City, the league's second-best offensive club.

Los Angeles had allowed an average of 97.3 points in its previous 18 contests - including a 103-98 win over the visiting Thunder on March 2 - and held 12 opponents to 95 or fewer.


"I thought our defense overall from the tip was bad. It was one of those rare games where we never established ourselves defensively," coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought we were horrible. It was one of those games."

After facing a team that's averaging 110.1 points, the Clippers will see an opponent that's scoring 99.3 per game. The Knicks (27-39) have also averaged 84.1 points in a seven-game skid against Los Angeles, including a 116-88 drubbing at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 22.

The Clippers' defensive effort is the NBA's best against one opponent in the past four seasons, edging San Antonio's 84.5 points per game allowed in eight matchups with Philadelphia.

The Knicks will seek to end that trend and earn back-to-back victories for the first time since Jan. 18-20 after a 128-97 win against Phoenix on Wednesday.

New York made a season-high 16 3-pointers on 24 attempts and shot 56.1 percent overall. Sasha Vujacic went 6 of 7 from beyond the arc and scored 23 points - two shy of matching his career best - while starting in place of an injured Arron Afflalo (abdominal).

"I just got into a game rhythm early. We played the right way. We were swinging the ball. We played as a team on both ends of the court. That helped everybody to have a good game,'' Vujacic said.

The Knicks got the benefit of facing one of the league's worst defensive teams in the second of six straight road games. The Suns, who are second-to-last in the Western Conference, are allowing 107.7 points per game while the fourth-place Clippers are giving up an average of 100.5.

Los Angeles has yielded 79.3 points per game and 37.5 percent shooting in three consecutive home wins against New York.

"We want to go (into Los Angeles) and build off this win," forward Carmelo Anthony said. "We want to go and try to play a different game than we played at (Madison Square Garden)."

Anthony was held to 16 points on 4-of-12 shooting in the matchup in January after averaging 28.5 points in his previous four games in the series.

DeAndre Jordan had 20 points on 7-of-7 shooting in the latest meeting and is averaging 19.5 while knocking down 26 of 34 shots in four games this month.

The Clippers also now have Jeff Green, who has averaged 20.2 points in his last five games against New York.