The Clippers have a 4-1 record so far on their seven-game, 11-day trip, but they didn’t set a goal for wins before they left Los Angeles on Nov. 18.
Of course they had wanted to win all seven games, but that won’t happen. After victories over Orlando and Miami, their first loss was at Memphis on Sunday.
But the Clippers took the next two games, against Charlotte and Detroit, and will seek to keep that modest winning streak alive when they play the Houston Rockets on Friday night at the Toyota Center.
“We take it one game at a time,” power forward Blake Griffin said. “We literally say before every game, ‘You can’t win them all without winning the first one. You can’t win them all without winning the second one.’ We lost one. Then it was, ‘You can’t win the rest without winning the next one.’ It’s a one-game-at-a-time mentality. And I think that’s why we’re doing so well.”
Small forward Matt Barnes, who missed the last two games with a sore left calf, worked out during the team’s shootaround Friday, but Coach Doc Rivers said he was unsure if Barnes would play against the Rockets.
Starting Rockets center Dwight Howard (strained right knee) and guard Pat Beverly (strained left hamstring) were doubtful for the game, and starting small forward Terrence Jones (left leg nerve inflammation) won’t play.
“Dwight is Dwight. He’s a force,” Rivers said. “You have to play different without Dwight, for sure. Without Dwight, you change a lot because you don’t have the monster down in the middle.”