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San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Clippers

After losing to the new-look Mavs on Saturday night, the Spurs have dropped four in a row and six of their last eight. The Clippers are the next in a string of playoff-bound teams to challenge Pop's boys.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles Clippers

AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
December 22, 2014, 7:30 p.m. Spurs Time

On the heels of a pair of draining 3-OT losses, Coach Popovich sat his entire starting lineup in Dallas. While the Mavs adjusted to the presence of a new floor general, a depleted San Antonio team kept in the game and, through some conservative defensive tactics, held the league's best offense to under 100 points. Extraneous G was happy with how hard his team played, even if it resulted in another L for the seventh-ranked team in the West.

"I thought we were great. Really proud of them. We could have handled the ball better. Giving up 25 points off turnovers on the road is not going to make it easy to win a game, but I thought the effort and the play out of these guys was really spectacular."

Picking out the small victories within this tough stretch is important, but our favorite stonecutter is surely looking forward to having his sharpest tools sooner rather than later.

The Clips are the next test for his team, coming off a 106-102 home win against Milwaukee on Saturday. They're currently just ahead of San Antonio in the Western Conference standings and, like the Spurs, still not completely happy with how they've performed to date. Part of that is in the effort and execution shown against teams the Clippers should be able to put away easily.

No win comes easy in this end-of-year stretch, and the variety of maladies plaguing the Spurs has added a whole other layer of complexity to how Pop comes at each game. The Mavs game proves that a short-handed group can run with just about anyone, but its final result underlies the bigger truth that this is a star's league. And with two of the NBA's brightest rolling into town tonight, the absence of Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard (both ruled out) will once again make things difficult.

Stepping in to run point for San Antonio once again will be Cory Joseph. who's already faced some of the league's toughest point guards over the past few weeks. Tonight he gets another in Chris Paul. Paul continues to be one of the shrewdest playmakers in the game, but it's no secret that he's lost a step. If Cory can be disruptive enough against the head of the Clippers snake, it could make a big difference in how this game goes.

Matchup to watch: Manu vs. Jamal Crawford. Manu's not been the definition of consistency so far this year, but the possibility of a shootout between two of the NBA's best sixth men is always there.


Los Angeles Clippers (19-8)

San Antonio Spurs (17-11)

December 22, 2014

AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

7:30 p.m. CST


Radio: WOAI 1200AM


Chris Paul


Cory Joseph

J.J. Redick


Danny Green

Matt Barnes


Kyle Anderson

Blake Griffin


Tiago Splitter

DeAndre Jordan


Tim Duncan

Game prediction: Clippers by two.

For the Clippers fans' perspective, visit Clips Nation.

As always, Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment: Tel: 210-444-5607 |