Blake Griffin returned to the court Sunday after missing 15 games because of a staph infection in his right elbow that required surgery Feb. 9. In Griffin's first game back, he had 11 points on four-for-10 shooting, 11 rebounds, eight assists and five turnovers in just under 41 minutes in the team's 100-98 loss to the Houston Rockets.
The Clippers will still be without Jamal Crawford, who has missed six games because of a right calf bruise.
"Jamal is out for a while," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said Monday.
The Clippers (42-25) are in seventh place in the Western Conference, after falling from fifth place last week. The Hornets (29-36) are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Hornets have lost three of their last four games, after having won five in a row to begin the month.
The last time the teams played, on Nov. 24, the Clippers won, 113-92. In that game, Chris Paul had 22 points and 15 assists, and Griffin had 22 points and 18 rebounds. The Clippers outshot the Hornets from the field, 51% to 41%, and from beyond the three-point line, 47% to 10%. The Clippers also outrebounded the Hornets, 43-33.
The Clippers, who have 15 games left this season, have a relatively easy stretch in their schedule coming up. Five of their next seven opponents have losing records, and the two teams with winning records are behind the Clippers in the standings.