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The Los Angeles Clippers never won 50 games prior to last season and are just a victory away from reaching the mark again entering Monday’s home game against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Clippers posted 56 victories a season ago for the best-ever campaign by a franchise that began play in 1970-71 as the Buffalo Braves and can threaten that mark with a strong finish. Los Angeles has won 12 of 13 games while the Bucks have lost seven straight.
Milwaukee is coming off a woeful 124-107 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday in a contest in which the Bucks trailed by 40 points in the third quarter. Even though the Philadelphia 76ers have lost 24 consecutive games, Milwaukee still has two fewer victories and owns the worst record in the NBA. Los Angeles holds a 1 1/2-game lead over the Houston Rockets in the battle for third place in the Western Conference. The Clippers are looking for their eighth consecutive home victory while the Bucks are just 5-30 on the road.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE BUCKS (13-56): Milwaukee wasn’t ready to play against the Kings and trailed 39-16 after one quarter, only a 37-point fourth quarter made the final score semi-respectable. The Bucks have won just one of their last 11 games and seem destined to finish with the worst mark in franchise history – the 1993-94 squad went 20-62 – judging by the recent struggles. “We can’t go out there and lay down. I’m not saying we did that (Sunday),” coach Larry Drew said after the loss to the Kings. “This is one of the few games we came out and laid an egg at the very beginning.”
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (49-21): Center DeAndre Jordan grabbed 12 rebounds for his 15th consecutive double-digit outing on the boards as Los Angeles continues its amazing success on the glass. The Clippers have had at least one player reach double figures in rebounds in a franchise-record 46 consecutive games. “We’ve got to keep building on it because that was the knock on us last year,” Jordan told reporters after Saturday’s win over Detroit. “We gave up too many rebounds and too many offensive boards. But now, I feel like we’re getting better as a team. We can’t get out and score the way we can without controlling the glass.”
1. Los Angeles has won the last four meetings, including a 114-86 road win on Jan. 27
2. Clippers PF Blake Griffin has a streak of 28 consecutive 20-point games.
3. Bucks G O.J. Mayo scored 21 points against the Kings for his first 20-point outing since Feb. 24.
PREDICTION: Clippers 114, Bucks 91