- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Boston Celtics (13-22, 5-12 away) visit the Los Angeles Clippers (24-13, 15-3 home) on Wednesday night at Staples Center (10:30 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
FIGHTING THROUGH ADVERSITY: The Celtics have lost five straight and eight of their last nine. They've given up a season-high in points in each of their last two outings, including a whopping 129 points in Tuesday's loss in Denver. Now they've got to deal with a rested Clippers squad that takes care of its home turf. The natural instinct will be discouraged if things don't go Boston's way early, but the Celtics absolutely have to fight through any early turbulence if they want to stick around in this one.
NO CP3, NO PROBLEM: The Clippers lost All-Star point guard Chris Paul to a separated shoulder, but Celtics coach Brad Stevens pointed out that his backup, Darren Collison, gave Boston fits in the first meeting between the two teams. Collison is coming off a 21-point, 7-assist effort in a 30-point triumph over Orlando on Monday. The Celtics have been torched in recent meetings by point guards -- including a backup in Reggie Jackson during Sunday's loss in Oklahoma City -- and cannot let down just because the Clippers are missing one of their superstars.
WHAT ELSE?: Boston is 0-5 on the road against the West this season and has lost 11 straight overall dating back to last season. ... Kris Humphries sat out Tuesday's loss in Denver with a sprained left ankle. The Celtics missed his effort and size, and could use him against the Clippers' frontline if he's able to go. ... Jared Sullinger should be fresh and anxious after being ejected from the third quarter of Tuesday's loss for picking up a pair of flagrant-1 fouls. ... The Clippers rank sixth in the league in offensive rating and eighth in defensive rating. Their most glaring weakness? The old Doc Rivers staple of being spotty on the offensive glass (despite all that size). Beyond the glass, the Clippers live in the top 10 among all key advanced metrics, including assist-to-turnover ratio (third), turnover percentage (sixth), pace (eighth) and effective field goal percentage (ninth).
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