It's only 14 games into the season for the Clippers, but Caron Butler knows what the team has to do – and has to do soon.

"We need a win," Butler said.

Butler said it two more times after Tuesday's practice. After losing four in a row, the Clippers and Butler are approaching Wednesday's tilt with Minnesota almost as a must-win game.

"We're home, we need to win games and another opportunity comes (Wednesday)," he said. "That last loss left a bad taste in our mouths."

The Clippers are heading into dangerous territory as a team that plays well in big games and struggles against mediocre and worse teams.

"It's about consistency. I think you have to approach every game the same," Butler said. "But it's hard to do that. It's a mindset. Your disposition has to be the same night in and night out."

But as the team continues to evolve into a contender, the Clippers have to respond to taking knockout punches from every team they play.

And while matching their opponents' energy is a key, using their veteran savvy is just as important.

A lot of people say 'Go harder, harder, harder,'" Butler said. "But 'smarter' is in there too."

The Clippers and Coach Vinny Del Negro know the smarter way to play basketball wasn't how they played in Monday's loss to New Orleans, when the Clippers became a jump-shooting team.