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Category: Vinny Del Negro

Clippers' tough week: At Trail Blazers, home vs. Heat, Lakers

Chauncey Billups of the Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers face an early-season test this week with a game against the Trail Blazers in Portland on Tuesday followed by home games against the Miami Heat on Wednesday and the Lakers on Saturday.

On New Year's Day, the Clippers defeated Portland at Staples Center, 93-88, but only after L.A. nearly let the game get away.

"I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to getting us on their court," Clippers guard Chauncey Billups said of the Trail Blazers, "and they're a really, really good home team, so it will be a big challenge for us."

The Clippers are coming off a 92-86 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center on Saturday, but they struggled in that game too, and Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said, "We’re going to have to play better than we did last game, that’s for sure.

"Luckily, we just played Portland last week so we’ve got a good feel for them, but we’ve got to do a lot better in a lot of areas," Del Negro said after the team practiced Monday at its Playa Vista training facility.

That includes rebounding, where the Clippers have been weak so far this season. "When the ball goes up we’ve got to get a body on somebody," Del Negro said. "Everyone has to do a better job."

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— Jim Peltz

Photo: Clippers guard Chauncey Billups drives the lane against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center last Wednesday. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

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