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Thursday, April 26, 2012
Clippers start playoffs on the road

By Arash Markazi

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Clippers will open the NBA playoffs on the road Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies at 6:30 p.m. local time.

The Clippers needed to win just two of their last four games to clinch the No. 4 seed and home court in the first round, but lost three of their last four games down the stretch, including their last two games of the season on the road. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies come into the playoffs riding a six-game winning streak and will host Games 1 and 2, as well as 5 and 7 if necessary.

The Clippers won their first two meetings against the Grizzlies in Los Angeles but lost their most recent meeting in Memphis on April 9 as the Grizzlies won 94-85.

Home court advantage in the series was always a priority for the Clippers after they had struggled to win consistently on the road. The Clippers finished 16-17 on the road this season. Since 1970 the franchise has never finished a season with a .500 or better record in road games. The closest they came before this season was in 2005-06 (20-21). Their streak of 42 consecutive seasons with a losing road record is the longest such streak in NBA history.

This is the Clippers’ first trip to the playoffs since the 2005-2006 season and only their fifth postseason appearance since 1976.

Here's the full schedule:

Game 1 - Sun, April 29   at Memphis,    6:30     (TNT)
Game 2 - Wed, May 2     at Memphis,     6:30     (TNT)
Game 3 - Sat,  May 5     at Staples,     1:30     (ESPN)
Game 4 - Mon,  May 7     at Staples,   TBD
Game 5 * Wed,  May 9    at Memphis,   TBD
Game 6 * Fri,  May 11    at Staples,    TBD
Game 7 * Sun,  May 13    at Memphis     TBD
* If necessary