Clippers @ Spurs
Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. PT
TV: FOX Sports San Diego, Prime Ticket & FOX Sports GO
SAN ANTONIO — The Los Angeles Clippers will look to turn around a recent swoon when they face the San Antonio Spurs for the first time this season on Tuesday night at the AT&T Center.
The game will be the fourth in a six-game homestand for the Spurs, who have won two straight after losing four in a row.
San Antonio’s latest win came Sunday when it swept past Phoenix in the third quarter, built a 27-point lead in the fourth and settled for a 112-95 victory.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the team with 21 points as seven Spurs scored in double figures, including four off the bench for the second straight game, a first in team history.
The Spurs (6-4) trailed by four points at halftime but outscored the Suns 34-13 in the third quarter while holding Phoenix to 4-of-21 shooting from the field in the quarter. San Antonio took an 85-68 advantage into the fourth quarter and cruised home.
“In our last couple of games, our third quarters have been kind of slow,” said Spurs reserve forward Rudy Gay, who had 12 points. “We had to come out with intensity. We made a couple of defensive changes, and we had the mindset to come out there and win the game in the third quarter.”
For the game, the Spurs made half of their 88 shots from the floor, while the Suns were 37 of 81 (45.7 percent).
“It all starts with defense, like it always does with this team,” Spurs center Pau Gasol said. “We turned up the intensity in the third quarter because that’s what gets us going, and when Phoenix missed a few shots in a row, they got a little discouraged. It was a good win for us and one we needed to continue to build some momentum.”
The Clippers (5-4) head to the Alamo City on the heels of a 104-101 home loss to Miami on Sunday. Los Angeles trailed by 25 points late in the third quarter but roared back in the fourth and had a chance to take the lead in the waning seconds.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 23 points but missed a potential go-ahead shot with three seconds remaining. Griffin said the team had a chance to grab hold on the contest earlier in the fourth quarter, which would have taken away the importance of the endgame.
Los Angeles led 101-100 with 26 seconds left, and a steal by Austin Rivers, who had 12 points, gave the Clippers a chance to extend the margin to three. However, the guard missed two free throws with 17 seconds left.
Griffin later missed his key shot.
“We don’t want to be in that position, but if we are, it’s a shot I’m willing to take,” said Griffin, who was 8 of 18 from the floor and 2 of 5 from behind the 3-point arc. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go in tonight.”
Lou Williams had 22 points off the bench for Los Angeles, and DeAndre Jordan scored 10 points and collected 19 rebounds.
Los Angeles was playing the second game of a home back-to-back after a Saturday loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers have lost four of their past five games after starting the season with four victories.
Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari sustained a hip injury Sunday and did not play in the second half. Gallinari, who scored six points, said he injured himself a week ago but continued to play.
“I can barely walk,” Gallinari said. “I’ve been having pain the past two or three games, and now it’s getting to a point where I’m having problems walking, so I’ve got to take care of it.”
The Tuesday matchup in San Antonio is the opener of a three-game swing for Los Angeles, which will play eight of nine games away from Staples Center.
The Clippers won three of the four meetings with the Spurs last season, and they have taken six of their past nine against San Antonio.