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|9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET16:00 GMT0:00 9:00 AM MST11:00 AM EST20:00 UAE17:0012:00 ET10:00 AM CT15:00 , March 24, 2019
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Attendance: 18,263
Clippers, Knicks meet while speeding in opposite directions
The Los Angeles Clippers picked up their latest win by doing something more associated with teams in the NCAA Tournament -- surviving and advancing.
After withstanding a stiff challenge from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, the Clippers attempt to get their fifth straight win Sunday afternoon when they visit the league-worst New York Knicks.
Los Angeles (43-30) is 9-1 in its last 10 games and has won four straight -- though each of the four wins came with some stressful moments.
The streak began with a 128-121 home win over the Chicago Bulls on March 15 when the Clippers overcame a sluggish first half with a 45-point third quarter. The second win was an even a more dramatic affair, when Los Angeles held a 10-point lead with 62 seconds left, gave up 10 straight points and needed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Lou Williams to get a 119-116 win over the Brooklyn Nets last Sunday.
After Williams hit a late shot to clinch a 115-109 win over Indiana on Tuesday, the Clippers began a four-game trip with the 110-108 win in Cleveland. The Clippers were down 15 after one quarter, then gave up most of a 10-point lead in the final 6 1/2 minutes before finally exhaling when Jordan Clarkson's step-back 3-point try hit off the back rim as time expired.
"It was one of those nights where you felt like you did just enough to win the game," Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers told reporters afterward. "You're proud of the win, but we know there's a better us in us and hopefully, that will send a message to all of our guys for the rest of the trip."
Los Angeles is 13-5 since it traded Tobias Harris to Philadelphia on Feb. 5 and nine of those wins are by single-digits. When the Clippers made the trade they held the eighth seed but now they sit in the sixth spot and could finish as high as third.
"We treat every game as a business trip," Los Angeles guard Patrick Beverley said. "You can have fun in the summertime. Right now, we're going for the highest seed we can get."
Among the reasons for Los Angeles' ascension since the trade are the play of Williams, Montrezl Harrell and former Knick Danilo Gallinari.
Gallinari scored 27 points Friday, has a career-best eight straight games with at least 20 points and is averaging 24.3 points on 56.6-percent shooting in nine games this month.
Williams is averaging 22 points in his last 10 games while Harrell is averaging 18.8 points in 14 games since the All-Star break.
One of the wins during this hot stretch for Los Angeles was a 128-107 win home win over the Knicks three weeks ago. The Clippers had 82 points at halftime, led by as many as 38 and hit 19 3-pointers.
For the Knicks (14-59), the last meeting with Los Angeles is among the 11 losses in 12 games they have absorbed since getting consecutive home wins over San Antonio and Orlando on Feb. 24-26. It has put them on the precipice of clinching just the team's second 60-loss season in its history.
That other 60-loss season was the 17-65 mark it ended 2014-15 with when Phil Jackson was in his first season as team president and Derek Fisher coached the team.
The Knicks must win at least four of their nine remaining games to avoid tying or exceeding the worst record in team history.
In the last 12 games, the Knicks have absorbed seven double-digit losses, the latest a 111-93 home loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday. Since last Sunday's one-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Knicks have lost by a combined 75 points and led for a total of 78 seconds in three games.
"We're getting the hell smacked out of us," Knicks coach David Fizdale said recently. "These teams are just really good basketball teams."
The Knicks were without Dennis Smith Jr. (back), Noah Vonleh (sprained left ankle) and rookie Allonzo Trier (calf strain) on Friday. All three could be out again Sunday, meaning the Knicks will likely start Emmanuel Mudiay at point guard and play him at times with Frank Ntilikina, who played 25 minutes Friday in his return from a lengthy absence due to a groin injury.
Los Angeles has won 12 of its last 13 meetings with the Knicks since the start of the 2012-13 season.
--Field Level Media
Updated March 23, 2019