Game: Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Clippers +1.5, Lakers -1.5
The Lakers head into tonight’s rivalry game as a short favorite without Anthony Davis who will miss at least a month with a sprained ankle. LeBron James is back though and gives the Lakers a boost over a Clippers team that has been without Kawhi Leonard all season and has been missing Paul George for several weeks. New acquisition Norman Powell is now also out indefinitely and the Clippers continue to patch together their lineup to try and get through the season.
Somehow, the Clippers are a game-and-a-half ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference standings. The Clips are eighth and the Lakers (27-31) are ninth. That means both teams are headed for the play-in tournament unless either team comes up with a huge run over the last part of the season.
The Lakers have actually been playing very well at home. They have won eight of their last 11 home games. The Lakers also covered five of their last seven games before the All-Star break. The problem for LA is that they only won three of their last ten before the break. With James and Russell Westbrook both in the lineup tonight, the Lakers have an advantage in star power. The question is if they can break down a pretty good Clippers defense.
The Clippers won three of their last four games before the break. They allowed 97, 104, and 111 in the three wins. The 111 came against Houston which plays at one of the fastest paces in the league. In the loss, the Clips allowed just 103 points to Phoenix. For the season, the Clippers are 11th in the league in points allowed per game.
Interestingly, the Clippers have also defended the Lakers well. Over the last ten head-to-head meetings, the Lakers have averaged 105.9 points a game. That’s why the Clippers have owned the Lakers. The Clips are 7-3 in the last ten games against their city rival. They have also won the last five straight including two wins this season already. The most recent was a 111-110 win on Feb. 3.
The two teams share the Crypto.com Arena as they have for years, but there is an interesting trend when the Lakers are the home team. In the last nine games between the two LA teams, the Lakers are 0-9 ATS when they are the home team. In those last ten games overall, the Clippers do hold an advantage against the spread too. They are 7-3 ATS.
Both teams have been going Over the total recently. The total has gone Over in seven of the last nine Clippers games and in six of the last nine Lakers games. In the last three games in the series – all wins by the Clippers – the Over is 2-0-1. Both teams play fast. The Clippers are 14th in pace and the Lakers rank fifth averaging 102.3 possessions per game.