The Los Angeles Clippers couldn't get past a short-handed team to start this weekend but will get to face another to close it out.
The New Orleans Pelicans might not have star Anthony Davis for the rest of the season, and the Clippers will try to take advantage of his absence Sunday night while earning a fifth consecutive win in the series.
Los Angeles (43-25) fell 113-102 on Saturday night to a Memphis team that was missing several key players and dropped to 1-2 on its five-game trip.
"I'm just disappointed that we got outcompeted tonight, and it was clear," coach Doc Rivers told the team's official website. "It actually started in practice (Friday). It was a waste-of-time practice, it was a waste-of-time game for us today, it was a waste-of-time shootaround.
"We didn't do anything today. That's on me too, though. I've got to get them ready. They weren't ready to play."
The Clippers remain four games in front of the fifth-place Grizzlies for homecourt advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, but they could use some wins to bolster that position.
If recent matchups with New Orleans (25-43) are any indication, they might get one Sunday. Los Angeles has won all three meetings against the Pelicans this season and 11 of 13.
The Clippers have faced Davis in two of those games, holding him to a combined 31 points and well below his average of 24.3. The Pelicans' three-time All-Star is currently dealing with knee and shoulder ailments, and coach Alvin Gentry indicated the option of shutting him down the rest of the way isn't off the table.
"I wouldn't say no to that. I think we have to be smart collectively," he said. "I think that's something we have to consider."
Los Angeles has won four of six in New Orleans, including a 95-89 victory in its only other trip this season Dec. 31.
J.J. Redick had 26 points in that game but was held to 11 on 2-of-10 shooting in a 114-111 overtime win in Los Angeles on Jan. 10. Chris Paul led the way with 25 points but could only manage nine on 3-of-18 shooting in the visit to New Orleans.
The Clippers point guard had 25 points in Saturday's defeat, 10 more than in a 122-106 victory against Houston on Wednesday.
Paul will try to lead Los Angeles to its first sweep of the Pelicans franchise in its 14 seasons of existence.
New Orleans will attempt to fend that off while earning just its third win in 12 games and second in six at home. The Pelicans fell 117-112 to visiting Portland on Friday with Davis missing the second half due to a left knee injury.
He scored 19 points in 14-plus minutes. Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday each finished with 30.
Anderson has a combined 59 points in his past two games but is averaging a more pedestrian 16.5 in his last two matchups with the Clippers.
Los Angeles center DeAndre Jordan has connected on 25 of 26 shots in the last four games and his past 19 in a row. His 70.9 shooting percentage is just shy of matching last season's 71.0, and the NBA's second-best in one season behind Wilt Chamberlain's 72.7 in 1972-73.
Jordan has shot 72.2 percent (13 of 18) while scoring 31 points in the three games against New Orleans.