After the Clippers lost to injury-ravaged Portland last week, they got another chance only five days later.
This time, the Clippers exploited the opportunity.
Led by the offense of Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman, along with the defense of Marcus Camby, the Clippers beat the Trail Blazers, 105-95, Monday night at Staples Center.
The victory in front of an announced crowd of 15,104 gave the Clippers (15-18) their first win of the new year, ended a string of four consecutive losses to Portland and gave the team a smidge of momentum heading into Wednesday's game against the Lakers.
Gordon scored three points in the first half but came alive in the second, ending with 19. Kaman had 20.
Camby, already one of the NBA's league leaders in defense, had three blocked shots, 15 rebounds and six assists.
The Clippers needed a strong second half after they appeared intent on beating themselves in the first half when they committed a whopping 13 turnovers -- six by Baron Davis alone -- compared with seven by the Trail Blazers. The game was tied, 45-45, at halftime.
"Offensively, we were pretty efficient once we stopped turning the ball over," Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said.
Davis said "it was mostly" his fault. "I was out there just trying to make aggressive plays but letting the ball get away from me.
"But in the second half we kind of settled in, started attacking more and being aggressive," said Davis, who scored 15 points.
Portland, meanwhile, was led by Martell Webster, who made five three-point shots and scored 25 points overall. Despite the team's many injuries, the Trail Blazers (22-14) have won eight of their last 11 games.
In their first meeting of the season last Wednesday, the Clippers lost to the Trail Blazers, 103-99. Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who sprained his left ankle early in that game, sat out Monday night's game, as did guard Steve Blake and five other injured Portland players.
Dunleavy said before the game that if the Clippers and Trail Blazers played a close game, he was worried about Brandon Roy, who led the Trail Blazers' win last week. But the Clippers all but shut down Roy, who scored only six points.
Smith on target
Craig Smith continues to be one of the Clippers' most accurate shooters from the field despite also being one of the team's largest players.
Nicknamed Rhino for his 6-foot-7, 250-pound frame, the reserve forward entered Monday night's game with a 56.8% field-goal percentage in 30 games played, second on the team to second-year center DeAndre Jordan, who was shooting 57.4% in 22 games.
And in Monday's game? Smith was four for five, scoring eight points.
"Ever since I was young I was always trying to make sure that I made good, selective shots," Smith said.
Smith, 26, who grew up in Inglewood and attended Fairfax High, has made accuracy one of his strengths since joining the NBA in the 2006-07 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In three years with the Timberwolves, Smith's field-goal percentage was 55.3%, best in the franchise's history. He was acquired by the Clippers last summer.
Smith, who had played an average of 13.6 minutes per game entering Monday night's contest, said he works hard to maintain his accuracy -- and on preventing the turnovers that sometimes plague him.
But he said his deft touch from the field also "comes natural to me, knowing in that millisecond, in that instant, that this is what I need to do, I need to be aggressive right here and score."
And if the shot would be a low-percentage chance? "Then I lay off," he said, "and I try to make the play for somebody else who has a better, higher-percentage shot."
The Clippers said as of Monday, about 400 lower-level seats were available at Staples Center for the Clippers-Lakers game Wednesday.