Game: Los Angeles Clippers @ Brooklyn Nets
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Odds: Clippers -7.5, Nets +7.5
The Barclays Center will be the site of the first game for the Brooklyn Nets (32-20 SU, 27-25 ATS) since the weekend’s blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks. On Monday, the Nets will play host to the Los Angeles Clippers (30-26, 29-27), who have won seven of their last nine games.
Tonight’s game opened with the Clippers listed as 6-point favorites, but the line has moved in response to the Irving trade as well as due to the health of the Nets. Brooklyn has actually beaten the Clippers in five of the last six head-to-head meetings. That isn’t carrying much weight with oddsmakers.
On Saturday, the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the New York Knicks 134-128 in a game that went into overtime. Jalen Brunson led all scorers with 41 points for the Knicks, but the Clippers prevailed thanks to the efforts of Kawhi Leonard (35 points) and Paul George (30 points).
The Clippers have finally reached a point where they have a relatively healthy roster, and their recent results are beginning to reflect that. The Clippers have lost just twice in their last nine games. During the month of January, Leonard found his rhythm, scoring 27.7 points on average per game. He has now scored 30 or more points in seven of his last 12 games.
The Nets beat the Washington Wizards 125-123 on Saturday. Brooklyn was led by Edmond Sumner’s 29 points and a career-high 44 points scored by Cam Thomas in just 29 minutes off the bench.
With Irving’s trade over the weekend, Brooklyn can now look forward to a life without him. In return from Dallas, the Nets received Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, and draft picks. Dinwiddie had previously spent parts of five seasons with the Nets. Regardless of the trade, Brooklyn is still in a difficult position in the short term because Kevin Durant (knee) is still sidelined. That means that Dinwiddie is the primary offensive option for the club at the moment.
Recent success for the Clippers can be attributed to the improved health of their top two players, Leonard and George. Although George scored just under 20 points per game on average in the month of January, he has scored at least 20 points in five of his last seven games, including two performances in which he scored 30 points.
The Los Angeles Clippers have maintained their status as one of the best defensive teams in the NBA by allowing just 110.8 points per game this season. That ranks third-best in the NBA. It’s not known whether Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith will be available tonight. That will make it even more difficult for Brooklyn to score on the Clippers tonight. Ben Simmons has been out for a week and a half and he is listed as questionable.
Brooklyn is 14-4 straight up in its last 18 home games. The Nets are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games.
Additionally, the Over is 7-2 in the last nine games between these two teams.
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