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Clippers gearing up for long week ahead

December 10, 2009 |  3:14 pm

It's the calm before the storm.

The Clippers have already played their only game this week --a 97-86 loss Tuesday to the Orlando Magic -- but they will play their longest stretch of games all season starting next week.

The Clippers (9-12) begin with a back-to-back Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs and Monday against the Washington Wizards, followed by a six-game road trip that ends on Christmas Day against the Phoenix Suns.

That's five games total next week, and Clippers forward Al Thornton says the team thinks this week's schedule will help them rest up before the long trip.

"Some guys are dinged up and trying to get healthy," he said. "If you have little injuries, you can get back healthy and get through this. It’s going to be an important week for us."

After the team had a day off Wednesday, today's practice mostly consisted of full-court scrimmages.

Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy says the road preparation on the road will be much different.

"There’s not going to be a lot of physical work," he said. "It’s more mental and film preparation."

With the Clippers having plenty of time to prepare for the string of games, Thornton says the team can't worry about fatigue.

"Just bringing that energy each and every night knowing that other teams are going through it as well -- I  don’t think you can use that as an excuse," he said. "Of course, you’re going to be tired, but you have to find a way."

Visit latimes.com/sports later in the day for more Clippers coverage.

-- Mark Medina

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