The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers finish out their preseason schedule on Wednesday night, playing the second game in a home-and-home series at Staples Center. Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and the Clippers rode a strong third quarter to a blowout win on Monday night, and now the Clippers get to play the role of home team.
Paul and Billups combined for 40 points in the Clippers' 114-95 rout of the Lakers on Monday. "It is a very deadly combination, we really just play off one another," Billups said on Fox Sports West after the game. "Sometimes he runs the point and makes plays, sometimes I'll take over and do the same. I think we're going to cause a lot of players a lot of problems."
Though it was a preseason game, there was an electric atmosphere on Monday in Los Angeles, the byproduct of waiting so long for NBA basketball and the allure of Paul's debut in Los Angeles. The game drew huge national ratings on NBA TV, at 509,000 the largest audience in the network's history, a mark even more impressive since those numbers didn't include Los Angeles, where the game was televised locally.
Derek Fisher is expected to play for the Lakers, though it is unknown whether or not the point guard will start. Fisher did not play on Monday, still working into game shape after a long summer dealing with the NBA lockout as president of the NBA Players Association.
The two teams have met 22 times in the preseason since 1979, with the Lakers holding a 14-8 edge.