Playing on a first-place team with a couple of all-stars and a roster full of veterans isn't something the Clippers are used to. When they take their show on the road these days, they know opponents are keenly focused on beating them.



So they don't expect to have the easiest road swing when they start their annual Grammy trip Wednesday night in Minnesota. They play eight games in 13 nights, and although only two are against teams with winning records, no one is thinking this is going to be easy.



The Clippers aren't expected to have either of their two injured guards, Chris Paul or Chauncey Billups, back for the beginning of the trip, although Billups took part in some contract drills during practice Tuesday and might get clearance from trainer Jasen Powell to return. But that's still to be determined.



"It's going to be a tough stretch, especially still missing Chris and Chauncey," forward Blake Griffin said. "We've shown we're capable of doing it, but we have to come out and have that intensity that started in practice today."