Scrappy Clippers look to extend Knicks’ home woes

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The Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks each spent their previous games facing a deficit of at least 20 points.

The difference is the Clippers pulled off the comeback and are looking to carry that momentum into Sunday afternoon’s visit to the Knicks, who are hoping to end an ugly three-game skid on their home floor.

Los Angeles is 1-1 on an eight-game road trip that runs through Jan. 31. The Clippers opened the trek by blowing a 12-point halftime lead in a 130-128 overtime setback to the Denver Nuggets, but their follow-up performance was impressive.


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On Friday, the Clippers trailed by 24 with 7:39 remaining in the third quarter and earned a 102-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. After getting torched for 49 points by Nikola Jokic on Wednesday, Los Angeles allowed 40 to Joel Embiid but pulled out the win by gradually chipping away.

Los Angeles outscored Philadelphia 58-33 over the final 19:39 and shot 52.2 percent in the fourth when it outscored the 76ers 32-21.

“Just keep scrapping like this team has been doing all year, that’s our motto, ‘scrap to the finish’ and we were able to do that,” Los Angeles coach Tyronn Lue said. “We all stayed with it. It was a team win.”

Los Angeles won for the second time in five games and Friday represented its second-largest comeback of the season. On Jan. 11, the Clippers erased a 25-point deficit to win a home game over the Nuggets, and 10 days before that, they erased a 13-point deficit in the final 5:57 for a 120-116 win at Brooklyn.


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“I think it’s just the way we are wired, we wire ourselves that even if we are up 20 or down 20 we are going to be a team that plays hard,” L.A. guard Reggie Jackson said. “We are going to be fighting, playing for each other; do it the right way.”

Jackson, who led seven Clippers in double figures with 19 points on Friday, is averaging 25 points in his past three games.

The Knicks are desperate for a win before playing eight of their next 10 on the road. Their frustrated fans have seen them trail by 23, 12 and 25 points in each of their previous three games at Madison Square Garden.

The three-game skid against Charlotte, Minnesota and New Orleans comes on the heels of eight wins in 11 games and has seen subpar performances from RJ Barrett and Julius Randle of late.


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Barrett finished with 17 points in Thursday’s 102-91 loss to the Pelicans and was among four starters benched in the fourth quarter when the Knicks attempted a comeback. Randle was even more ineffective, finishing with four points on 1-of-9 shooting, marking the sixth time he was held to single digits.

“When things aren’t going our way, Julius is going to take a lot of the blame,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said. “But it’s a team game, and we have to get out of it as a team. It wasn’t one particular play or incident. Things just weren’t going our way.”

Among the things to go wrong for the Knicks was finishing at 37.7 percent from the field, marking their 11th game under 40 percent. New York also missed 12 of 36 free throws and has missed 31 foul shots in the past three games.

–Field Level Media



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