Game: Boston Celtics @ Los Angeles Clippers
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Odds: Celtics -3.5, Clippers +3.5
The Los Angeles Clippers (15-13, 13-15 ATS) will host the Boston Celtics (21-6 SU, 17-10) at Crypto.com Arena tonight. The Celtics are looking to bounce back from a discouraging loss to Golden State on Saturday. The 123-107 loss ended Boston’s three-game winning streak.
Klay Thompson (34 points) and Steph Curry (32 points) combined for half of Golden State’s points in the victory as The Splash Brothers took control of the game. Boston’s Jayson Tatum had a quiet night with just 18 points while Jaylen Brown led Boston with 31 points.
It was a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals won by the Warriors. Boston’s NBA-leading offense sputtered on Saturday. Tatum, who averages 23.4 points a game, shot just 6-of-21 from the field against Golden State. He’ll need to be on his game tonight. Brown has been tearing it up in December averaging nearly 30 points per game. Brown has three games so far this month with at least 31 points.
In their final game of a four-game road trip, the Clippers defeated the Washington Wizards 114-107 on Saturday to return to the winning column. With 36 points, Paul George made a huge contribution for the Clippers while five other players for Los Angeles scored in the double digits.
Although seven of the Clips’ players average at least 10 points per game this season, their problem is a lack of high-end scoring. Kawhi Leonard is way down at 11.6 points per game as he continues to try and find his footing. George, who scores 23.7 points per game, is the only Clippers player averaging more than 15 points. With all of their offensive woes, Los Angeles now ranks last in the league in terms of offensive efficiency and averages 107.7 points per game.
Boston has a significant advantage due to its top-ranked offense. The Clippers’ offensive struggles have been exacerbated by their carelessness with the ball. Los Angeles averages 15.6 turnovers per game, which ranks 23rd in the NBA. The Celtics should be able to manage the pace of the game and force the Clippers to play their style of basketball.
If there is one area where L.A. excels, it is on defense. The Clippers’ defense ranks fourth in the NBA allowing 109.2 points per game. To stay in tonight’s game, the Clips will have to keep the total under its projected 224.5. The total opened at 228 and has been dropping ever since. The Over is 8-2 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings and the Clippers have won 12 of the last 18 games against Boston.
Boston has now won 17 of its last 20 games. The Celtics have covered the spread in eight of their last 10 games. Los Angeles is 2-4 SU and ATS in its last six games. The Over is 6-1 in the Clippers’ last seven games. The total has gone Under in four of the Celtics’ last five games.
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