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Clippers Schedule 2012: Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers Provide Tests This Week

Whew. At least March is over.

The Los Angeles Clippers played the first 20-game calendar month in the NBA since February 1967 and though they started the month struggling, the Clippers ended with a flourish, a five-game homestand sweep that has kept the Clippers in the thick of the Pacific Division race with the Lakers, as well as in line to have home court advantage in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.

Here is a look at the week ahead for the Clippers, highlighted by battles with the defending NBA champions and the battle of Staples Center.

Monday - Clippers at Dallas (5:30 p.m., Fox Sports West): These two teams have played a pair of close games this season, with the Clippers earning a two-point win in Los Angeles on January 18 and the Mavericks prevailing by four points in Dallas on February 16.

Wednesday - Lakers at Clippers (7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket, KCAL, ESPN): The winner of this game will have the tiebreaker, and the inside track at winning the Pacific Division, as the two teams open the week separated by just a game in the loss column.

Thursday - Clippers at Sacramento (7 p.m., Fox Sports West): The Clippers beat Sacramento in their only previous matchup this season, a 108-100 road victory.

Saturday - Sacramento at Clippers (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West): The Clippers have won seven straight home games, and are 36-13 in their last 49 home games dating back to last season.

For more news and notes on Clippers basketball, be sure to read Clips Nation.