After a miserable start, the Los Angeles Clippers can salvage a split of their six-game road swing and return home with some momentum for a playoff push when they face the resurgent Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center on Wednesday night.
Los Angeles (31-36) lost three of its first four games on the trip, including defeats to Houston and New Jersey by a combined 10 points. But the Clippers showed some resiliency Tuesday night in a 103-89 victory at Chicago in which Cuttino Mobley, Corey Maggette and Elton Brand combined for 68 points.
"We deserved to win. We played well at Houston and were leading with 2 minutes to go and lost. We were leading New Jersey with 2 minutes to go and lost," said Brand, who had 21 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. "It's been a disappointing road trip with how well we've played. It was imperative that we got this win.
"We've been playing well but it hasn't correlated into wins. We have to turn playing well into wins. If we win tomorrow it will be a good trip. Not a great trip, but a good trip."
The win, coupled with Golden State's loss to Utah on Tuesday, moved the Clippers within one percentage point of the Warriors for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Clippers shot 50.8 percent (32-for-63) from the field and are trying to win consecutive road games for the first time since Jan. 28-Feb. 2 and just the second time all season. They also have shot 48.7 percent (19-for-39) from 3-point range the last three games.
"We have been playing well of late and on this whole trip but it has just not been showing up in victories," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Tonight we did a good job moving the ball especially in the second half. I'm really pleased with that and now we just need to finish up this trip on a positive note."
25th ranked Bucks are hosting the 16th ranked Clippers and are projected to win by a margin of 1.3 points or more. The same site gives the Bucks a 56.0% chance of winning, while giving the Clippers a 34.9% chance of winning.