LA’s Blake Griffin scored 47 in Monday’s win over the Indiana Pacers.
Through mid-December it looked like the same Los Angeles Clippers, losers of 21 of their first 26 games.
But since then the Clippers have won 10 of 14 games through Tuesday, going 9-4-1 against the spread.
Los Angeles hasn’t finished a season above .500 since 2005-06.
The Clippers will try to stay hot when they play the Trail Blazers Thursday night in Portland at 7:35 PT with TNT televising. The broadcast is preceded by the Mavericks, Bulls matchup in Chicago.
Blake Griffin has spurred the Clippers’ turnaround with a franchise record 27 consecutive double-double performances. He’s averaged 26.7 points and 14 rebounds per game during Los Angeles’ past 14 matchups heading into Wednesday.
Griffin scored a career-high 47 points in the Clippers’ 114-107 home win against Indiana as 3 ½-point favorites this past Monday. Griffin made 19-of-24 shots from the field in posting the highest scoring game in the NBA this season.
The scary thing in that performance was Griffin, a slam dunk master, had only one dunk.
Griffin currently ranks 12th in scoring at 22.5 points a game and is fourth in rebounding at 12.8 a contest. He is making less than 61 percent of his free throws, but in the last seven games was averaging 70.2 percent from the foul line.
Sparked by Griffin, Baron Davis at point guard and Eric Gordon, who currently ranks eighth in scoring at 23.9 points a game, Los Angeles was 17-7-1 AS in its last 25 games versus Western Conference foes.
The Clippers, who hosted Minnesota on Wednesday night, were 6-3-1 ATS in the second of back-to-back games.
This doesn’t figure to be an easy matchup for the Clippers, though.
Portland has won 10 of its last 12 games at Rose Garden. One of the Trail Blazers’ two defeats in this span came to Miami in overtime.
The Trail Blazers, who played at Sacramento on Wednesday night, are 4-6 ATS in the second of consecutive games.
However, the Clippers will be in action for the fourth time in five days.
This marks Portland’s first of five home games in a row. The Trail Blazers haven’t been with three-time All-Star guard Brandon Roy, who is out after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both knees.
Portland has won 10 of its first 16 games without Roy. Portland has a couple of other injuries, too. Marcus Camby injured his knee during the Trail Blazers’ 113-102 home win against Minnesota as 7 ½-point favorites this past Monday.
Rudy Fernandez, who had 13 points and five steals against the Timberwolves, suffered a bruised knee.
LaMarcus Aldridge has stepped up big-time in Roy’s absence. He had put together 20 double-double during Portland’s first 42 games, while averaging a career-best 21.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest.
Portland has defeated the Clippers four straight times, including twice this season.
The Trail Blazers beat Los Angeles, 98-88, opening night as two-point road favorites. The combined 186 points dipped ‘under’ the 191 ½-point total. Roy led the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Camby scored 11 points, pulled down 14 boards and had three blocks.
The loss spoiled Griffin’s NBA debut. Griffin, who had 20 points and 14 rebounds in the defeat, was the top overall pick in the draft two years ago but missed last season with a knee injury.
Portland also won and covered in the second meeting between the two clubs, 100-91, as 6 ½-point home favorites on Dec. 5. The combined 191 points pushed on the 191 total.
Wesley Matthews led Portland with 26 points. Camby pulled down 19 rebounds. Roy played and had 14 points.
The Trail Blazers won despite shooting 39.7 percent from the floor.
The ‘over’ had cashed in seven of the Clippers’ past 10 games through Tuesday.