The Los Angeles Clippers are set to embark on the first of two seven-game road trips over the next two months, and they're clinging to an old cliche: one game at a time.
The Clippers make their first stop on the trip Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks, who have lost five of six.
Los Angeles (12-6) will look to get back on track after its four-game winning streak ended with a 105-100 home loss to Indiana on Sunday. Jamal Crawford had 20 points off the bench, Blake Griffin scored 16 with 12 rebounds, and Chris Paul finished with 17 points and 10 assists for his 15th double-double.
Paul missed a pair of makable shots late, though.
"I had two great looks at the end," he said. "If I make one of those shots, it ties the game up and puts pressure on them, so I was mad and disgusted in myself because I got the shot that I wanted."
After facing the Hawks, the Clippers will visit Memphis, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston, Brooklyn and Washington before returning home.
Los Angeles, which opens another seven-game trip Jan. 17, is 4-4 on the road while averaging 100.5 points. The Clippers are 8-2 at home with a 111.2 scoring average.
"It's our job - C.P., myself and DeAndre (Jordan) - to keep reassuring everybody that we can't look ahead," Griffin told the team's official website. "Something that we always say about a road trip, 'You can't win them all without winning the first one,' so that's kind of the mindset that we have to have."
Griffin had 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the last meeting with Atlanta, though the Clippers fell on the road 104-93 on Nov. 24, 2012.
The Hawks (9-10) return home after losing 108-101 at Washington on Saturday and 102-100 at San Antonio on Monday. Jeff Teague scored 19 and Paul Millsap added 15 points and 14 rebounds against the Spurs.
"It's a very, very (tough loss)," Millsap said. "The effort was there, the effort was definitely there. Guys were out there in sync. So to get out there and lay it all out there and not come out with the victory is kind of tough."
Though Atlanta has struggled lately, it has scored at least 100 points in back-to-back games after averaging 89.7 over its previous seven.
"I'm proud of our guys. (Monday) was a very good effort," coach Mike Budenholzer said. "If we play that long and that hard in games, we're going to be OK. It's good for our guys to compete the way they competed."
The Hawks are allowing an average of 103.8 points over their last five, and they'll face another tough test with a Clippers offense that ranks among the best in the league with 106.4 per game.
Coach Doc Rivers elected to bring Crawford off the bench again Sunday despite him scoring a season-high 31 points in nearly 38 minutes as a reserve in Friday's win over Sacramento.
Regular starter J.J. Redick suffered a broken bone in his shooting hand and a ligament tear in his right elbow against the Kings and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Willie Green started Sunday and could do so again in this contest.
The Hawks have won four straight at home against the Clippers and six of the previous eight overall.
The Associated Press News Service
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