The Golden State Warriors embark on their toughest two-game sequence of the season to date when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers for an afternoon affair Sunday.
Winners of six in a row and owners of the best record in the NBA at 17-2, the Warriors had just seven of their first 19 games on theroad. Of the seven opponents, only two -- the Charlotte Hornets and Brooklyn Nets -- currently are over .500.
In the next three days, the Warriors will have to face two of the top five teams in the Western Conference on the road. They take on a Clippers team that's won eight of its last 10 at home before meeting Tuesday with the owner of the second-best record in the NBA -- the Phoenix Suns.
The Clippers gave the Warriors all they wanted in a 115-113 Golden State home win during the first week of the season. The game was the Clippers' season opener, while the Warriors had already beaten the Los Angeles Lakers on the road.
Golden State has won six of its seven road games so far, with the only loss coming at Charlotte on Nov. 14.
The Warriors are coming off a 3-0 homestand in which they beat the Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers by a combined 50 points. Golden State has won its last 10 home games, each by at least 10 points.
"I think our guys are enjoying every bit of it," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after Friday's 118-103 win over Portland. "As long as they get ready for the next game and take care of their business, they should enjoy every second of purpose."
Still without Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers are just 3-4 since a six-game winning streak. They have won two of three on their current six-game homestand.
Friday's daytime 107-96 win over the Detroit Pistons featured a 54-52 rebounding advantage as Clippers coach Tyronn Lue used his big men more than usual.
Starting center Ivica Zubac was the game's leading rebounder with 13 to complement 10 points, while reserve big men Isaiah Hartenstein and Serge Ibaka, often playing in tandem, chipped in with a combined 19 points and seven rebounds in 37 total minutes.
"Talked to my coaches over the last couple days," Lue said of the look, which he initially was hesitant to consider when Ibaka came back from injury this month. "Just the way Isaiah was playing for us was great. And to give Serge more minutes and give him an opportunity to be on the floor more, I wanted to take a look at it."
The Warriors, meanwhile, went without a true backup center in their win Friday over the Trail Blazers. James Wiseman remains out following off-season knee surgery, while rookie Jonathan Kuminga was loaned to the franchise's G League affiliate for the night, although he could return for this trip.
Reggie Jackson paced the Clippers against the Pistons with 21 points. It came in the wake of a 31-point night in Tuesday's loss to Dallas, a performance that ended Paul George's streak of leading the team in scoring in 13 straight games.
In the October loss at Golden State George poured in 29 points, but Jackson was held to 11 on 4-for-19 shooting. The Warriors' Stephen Curry exploded for 45 points in the win.
--Field Level Media