- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Most teams complain about their schedule at some point in the season. It’s natural to hit a couple of rough patches during the course of an 82-game season.
But the Los Angeles Clippers certainly a have a reason to wonder if they did anything wrong to the schedule makers as they endure their second two-week road trip of the season.
The Clippers lost the second game of their road trip to the Indiana Pacers, 106-92, and dropped another road game against one of the top five teams in the league. So far this season the Clippers have dropped road games to the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and now Indiana. The one constant in each of those loses: the second night of a road back-to-back.
“It’s hard,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “Every day is a gauge as far as I’m concerned. It’s more how mentally tough we are.”
How it happened: The Clippers took a seven-point lead in the first quarter but were never able to get back into the game after the Pacers went up by 10 at the end of the quarter, then by 18 in the second quarter. Indiana eventually went up by as many as 22, and the Clippers were only able to cut it back down to 10 late.
What it means: The Clippers lost another road game to a top-five team on the second night of a road back-to-back. It’s not so much of an excuse as it is a reality for a team that would like to play the league’s best team with a day to prepare. Either way, this wasn’t a game the Clippers were expected to win -- with or without Chris Paul.
Hits: Blake Griffin had 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists and was able to get David West ejected after wrestling with him for a ball, resulting in West elbowing Griffin in the head. Jamal Crawford was solid off the bench, scoring 22 points.
Misses: Outside of Griffin and Crawford, there were a lot of misses on the night for the Clippers. Jared Dudley once again struggled, scoring just six points, and was replaced in stretches by Matt Barnes. J.J. Redick had his worst game since returning to the lineup, scoring six points on 4-of-17 shooting and missing all seven of his 3-point attempts.
Stat of the game: The Clippers shot under 40 percent from the field and just 25 percent from beyond the arc.
Up next: The Clippers’ road trip continues in Michigan on Monday when they play the Detroit Pistons. It will be the first meeting of the season between the teams and the first time the Clippers will play the Pistons since Chauncey Billups returned to Detroit.