Clippers looking to tie a record and deliver a little payback, too

To hear the Clippers talking Wednesday morning at their shootaround, tying the franchise record for consecutive victories with 11 would be nice. Beating the stuffing out of the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night would be even better. The Hornets are the last team to beat the Clippers, taking them down Nov. 26.

“I really think more important is New Orleans beat us a couple weeks back,” backup small forward Matt Barnes said. “They celebrated like they won a championship. So, I think that’s on our minds first and foremost. Tying the record is important for us, but we’re looking more forward to the payback.”

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Clippers take a break after 10 consecutive victories

After defeating the Detroit Pistons on Monday night for their 10th consecutive victory, a record for the Los Angeles Clippers and one win away from the franchise’s all-time mark, the team took a break from practice Tuesday. Matt Barnes, a backup forward, wrote on Twitter that he was looking forward to sitting on the couch and watching TV.

Then his TV went out. Bummer.

Next: the Clippers go for their 11th consecutive victory when they face the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday at Staples Center. The Hornets, who are soon to be known as the Pelicans, handed the Clippers their last defeat. New Orleans beat the Clippers on Nov. 26. The Clippers have beaten Minnesota, Sacramento, Utah, Dallas, Phoenix, Toronto, Chicago, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Detroit since then.

 

Notes and quotes

The Clippers’ victory Wednesday over the Charlotte Bobcats was their eighth in a row, tying their longest winning streak in 21 years. (Nov. 30 through Dec. 15, 1991). They need three more victories to match the longest streak in franchise history (11 consecutive from Nov. 3 to Nov. 23, 1974 while playing as the Buffalo Braves).

What’s more, the Clippers are on pace for their first 50-win season. Their best was 49 victories as the Braves in 1974-75. Their highest win total in Los Angeles was 47 with Mike Dunleavy as their coach and Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, Corey Maggette, Sam Cassell and Cattino Mobley as their top players in 2005-06.

“It’s cool,” guard Chris Paul said after the Clippers beat the Bobcats 100-94.. “It just means we’re playing all right now. But we’re not satisfied. We have to keep playing the right way and keep this thing going. Sometimes you’re going to win and play bad and sometimes you’re going to play well and lose. For us it’s all about being consistent.”

The Clippers go for their ninth straight win Saturday against the Bucks in Milwaukee.

Clippers hit the road with some big goals in mind

The last time they had a six-game winning streak, the Clippers went a little haywire for about a week before they regained their confidence, their rhythm and their winning ways. They don’t want a repeat of their earlier four-game losing streak when they hit the road to start a four-game trip Tuesday night in Chicago.

Matt Barnes, a backup small forward, sounded an optimistic tone after Sunday’s rout of the Toronto Raptors gave the Clippers their second six-game winning streak of the season. He said nothing short of a 3-1 record on their trip to Chicago, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Detroit would be acceptable.

“We know what our ultimate goal is right now,” Barnes said. “We have a very talented team and guys have to make sacrifices. That may be playing time or shots. But whatever it may be, everyone has bought in and the more time we have together, the better we play.”

The Clippers departed for Chicago in first place in the Pacific Division with a 14-6 record. They routed the Bulls in their first meeting at Staples Center by 21 points Nov. 17. These will be their first games against Charlotte, Milwaukee and Detroit this season.

“We know we have something special here,” Barnes added. “It’s a long season and we want to continue to build and continue to set good habits and be healthy at the end of the season and be ready for the playoffs. … This is the most talented team I’ve played on, period. Our ultimate goal is to win a championship.”

Blake Griffin named Western Conference player of the week

Power forward Blake Griffin was named the Western Conference player of the week, not an easy honor when you consider he didn’t play in any of the last three fourth quarters because the Clippers were so far ahead of the opposition.

Griffin led the Clippers to win over the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors. He had 30 points and 11 rebounds against Utah, 19 points and 13 rebounds against Dallas, 24 points and eight rebounds against Phoenix and 19 points and nine rebounds against Toronto.

For the week, he was ninth among players in the West in scoring with an average of 23 points and seventh in rebounding with an average of 10 per game despite sitting out the fourth quarters of blowout victories over the Mavericks, Suns and Raptors.

Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks was the Eastern Conference player of the week.

Eric Bledsoe makes his mark on another Clippers victory

Eric Bledsoe had his hand in another Clippers victory, this time a 102-83 win Sunday afternoon over the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center. That wasn’t exactly front page news, as far as the Clippers were concerned.

“I really think he’s going to be a star,” teammate Chauncey Billups said before Bledsoe scored 14 points, grabbed four rebounds and added six assists in the Clippers’ sixth consecutive win. Billups also called Bledsoe “a freak athlete,” adding, “I haven’t see many players with the athleticism he has. I see something new from him every night.

“It’s a gift from God.”

Bledsoe always had the physical part within him, as evidenced by his raw skills.

What’s new this season is his ability to think the game a little better.

“Experience is always the best teacher,” said Billups, a guard playing his16th season in the NBA.” I can tell him to look for this. Be ready for this. Or they’re going to do this. He’ll come back and say, ‘Dang, Chauncey, you know what they did?’ And I’ll say, ‘I told you to look for it.’

“The more minutes he plays, the more situations he’s in, in games, he sees it for himself. Because he’s waiting on it. Maybe he missed it. (But) he’ll pick it up and he won’t get beat again. It’s been a joy to see his development.”

Bledsoe, who turned 23 on Sunday and is playing his third season with the Clippers, continues to develop a sound earth-bound game to go with his high-wire act. His perimeter jump shot, like teammate Blake Griffin’s, is something of a work in progress.

“When he gets more consistent with it, he’s going to be impossible to guard,” Billups said. “He’s going to be a nightmare matchup. You get right up on him, and he’ll just go right by you.”

Point guard Chris Paul put it this way: “I play against him every day in practice. When you get in a game and it’s not ‘EBled’ on you, it’s almost like you’re in a rocking chair.”