NBA Game Preview: Charlotte Hornets at Los Angeles Clippers

Dec 21, 2022

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Game: Charlotte Hornets @ Los Angeles Clippers

Time:  10:30 p.m.

Odds: Hornets +7, Clippers -7

Total: 225

It’s the sixth and final game of the Charlotte Hornets’ six-game road trip. Tonight, the Hornets will take on the Los Angeles Clippers, a team that has faced similar challenges this season. Both the Hornets and the Clippers have had their fair share of injuries so far this season.

The Clippers’ dynamic star duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard has played together this season in just nine games. Charlotte has been without LaMelo Ball, Cody Martin, Gordon Hayward, and Dennis Smith Jr. for extended periods of time this season.

The result for the Hornets is an 8-23 record, which is the second-worst in the NBA. The lack of consistency has really showed for Charlotte. The Clippers are actually faring pretty well despite their stars not playing together. Los Angeles is 18-14 and is only 2.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies, the top team in the Western Conference right now.

Last Saturday, Leonard emphasized the reasons the Clippers continue to be title contenders. In his 11th game of the year, the five-time All-Star helped to defeat the Washington Wizards 102-93 with a season-high 31 points, nine rebounds, and three steals. Leonard played 32 minutes against the Wizards after missing the entirety of last season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Los Angeles has won nine straight meetings with Charlotte, which pulled off an unexpected victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. Monday’s 125-119 victory over the Kings was helped by 31 points from Kelly Oubre Jr. and 23 from Ball. The Hornets had lost eight in a row prior to the win over the Kings.

Ball, who has missed 24 games due to an ankle injury, has played in seven games this season and is averaging 23.1 points and 7.4 assists. Charlotte guard Terry Rozier missed the Sacramento game due to a right hip contusion and is considered day-to-day. Center Nick Richards, who recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds against Sacramento, continues to provide the Hornets with a spark off the bench.

The Clippers are 3-1 during their current five-game home stand. Reggie Jackson (left Achilles inflammation), Norman Powell (left groin strain), and George (left knee soreness) may return to the Los Angeles lineup on Wednesday, but all three will be game-time decisions. Ivica Zubac missed the previous two games and is not anticipated to play against Charlotte.

In addition to being 1-8 SU in their last nine games, the Hornets are just 2-4 ATS in their last six. They have done poorly on the road recently. Charlotte is 2-12 SU in their last 14 road games. The Hornets are 0-12 SU in their last 12 trips to face the Clippers.

Los Angeles is 4-1 SU in its last five games and 5-1 ATS in its last six. The Clippers are No. 2 in points allowed per game this season. As a result, the Under has been trending. The Under is 4-1 in the Clippers’ last five games and 7-0 in their last seven home games.

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