Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers preview

Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers preview
Portland Trail Blazers center Chris Kaman, right, works against Clippers center DeAndre Jordan during a game on Jan. 14. (Don Ryan / Associated Press)

The Clippers will host the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday after returning home from a weeklong four-game road trip, during which they went 3-1.

The Clippers have won three games in a row and are in fifth place in the Western Conference with a record of 40-21, a half-game behind the fourth-place Trail Blazers (39-19), who have also won three straight.

The Clippers will be without superstar power forward Blake Griffin, who remains sidelined after having surgery Feb. 9 to remove a staph infection in his right elbow.

In his absence, the Clippers have won seven of 10 games. Over that stretch, Chris Paul has averaged 21.2 points on 52.2% shooting from the field and 12.6 assists a game and DeAndre Jordan has had 15 or more rebounds in nine straight games. 

The Clippers have won eight of their last 11 against the Trail Blazers, including both meetings this season -- a 100-94 victory on Jan. 14 and a 106-102 win on Nov. 8.

An interesting matchup will be between Paul and Portland point guard Damian Lillard, who is averaging 21.6 points on 43.6% shooting and 6.2 assists a game for the Trail Blazers.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said it's possible that Griffin could return as early as Sunday against the Golden State Warriors, adding that the power forward has been going “full tilt” in his recent workouts.