The Los Angeles Clippers host the Los Angeles Lakers in the first battle of Staples Center that counts this season. The two best teams in the Pacific Division battle Saturday night, facing each other since the preseason, when the Clippers dispatched the Lakers in two exhibition games.
The Clippers are coming off their signature win so far this season, Wednesday's thrilling overtime victory over the Miami Heat. Chris Paul took control of that game with his finest game as a Clipper, with 27 points, 11 assists, six rebounds, and three steals, and figures to cause matchup nightmares for the Lakers as usual.
Derek Fisher can't guard an office chair right now, and the already thin Lakers depth chart at point guard is even thinner than usual now as Steve Blake is out three to four weeks with a rib injury. Rookie Darius Morris will likely see extended minutes for the Lakers.
Both the Clippers and Lakers this season have just one loss at home, as each team lost their home opener to the Chicago Bulls. The Clippers are 4-1 at home this season and 20-6 in their last 26 home games, dating back to last season. The Lakers are 8-1 at Staples Center this season.
The Clippers and Lakers have split their last 10 games with the Clippers as the home team. Blake Griffin is averaging 23.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists at home this season. Caron Butler has scored at least 20 points in three straight games. Chauncey Billups has made 37 of 39 free throws this season, currently fifth in the NBA with a 94.9% free throw percentage.