Clippers face three games on the road this week
Yet another week presents the Clippers with a demanding schedule.
But such will be the case during these final five weeks of the regular season as the Clippers make a push for a Western Conference playoff berth.
They begin the trek with a game at the struggling Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
Then the Clippers move on to face the NBA-leading Houston Rockets and leading MVP candidate James Harden Thursday night.
The Clippers will finish the challenging week Friday night at Oklahoma City and the trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.
“Tough games, every game,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said late Saturday night after his team had escaped with a win over the Orlando Magic at Staples Center. “We’ve just got to keep our focus. We’ve to keep the one-game-at-a-time mantra, which we’ve kept all year.”
The Clippers built some momentum before they left Staples Center, winning four of their last five games and six of eight.
“We’ve got a tough stretch coming up,” guard Lou Williams said Saturday night. “So to go on the road and have a couple wins under our belt, it feels good.”
The Clippers are in the mix for one of the final playoff spots in the West with the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.
The Clippers have 17 games left to make their move for a place in the postseason.
“Again, I have a great group,” Rivers said. “Every night we can change the lineups. Nobody complains. Everybody is always ready. Certain nights some guys play, other guys don’t play and no one cares. They just want to win and that’s why we’re winning games.”
When Rivers inserted Williams and rookie Sindarius Thornwell into the lineup Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was the Clippers’ NBA-high 31st starting lineup.
They joined center DeAndre Jordan, forward Tobias Harris and guard Austin Rivers as starters.
But going forward, when asked if he’d continue with those starters, Doc Rivers said he “doubted” it.
“We will at times,” Rivers said. “Right now it’s been a good starting lineup for us because it’s getting us out to leads. And I like what we’re doing with Boban [Marjanovic] and Montrezl [Harrell]. I like that combination as well. So we’re just going to keep moving around the rest of the guys inside of that.”
Go beyond the scoreboard
Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.