Game: Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Clippers -3.5, Warriors +3.5
The Los Angeles Clippers face the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco tonight in a matchup with significant playoff implications between two veteran-heavy lineups with championship aspirations.
As they get ready for the third game of their four-game season series, the Clippers and Warriors are tied for fifth place in the Western Conference after three straight losses for the Clippers and three straight victories for the Warriors.
The California rivals have split the first two games of the series. The home team has won both games and now the teams are even in the Western Conference standings. Tonight’s winner will move into fifth and the loser will drop to sixth, the final guaranteed playoff spot.
Should the teams end up tied and the season series winds up even at 2-2, the Clippers would win a tiebreaker as they have the best division record. The final game in the season series is set for March 15 in Los Angeles.
The Warriors would like to think that Stephen Curry would be available for the game in March. Curry has resumed practice after missing the previous nine games due to a partially damaged ligament in his left knee. In Curry’s absence, Klay Thompson has picked up the 3-point shooting slack. In those nine games, the veteran shot 55 threes at a 47 percent clip, moving him up to No. 2 in the NBA behind only Buddy Hield.
In Tuesday’s 123-105 home victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, Jordan Poole had a game-high 29 points, while Thompson added 23 points. Draymond Green’s comeback was the big story of the evening. He helped the team win with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Green had missed the Warriors’ previous two games.
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr sees things coming together for the defending NBA champions. Curry, Andrew Wiggins, and Gary Payton II should all be back in the lineup soon as the team heads into the final weeks of the regular season.
Tyronn Lue, the coach of the Clippers, wishes he could say the same. LA lost a tough 108-101 decision to Minnesota at home on Tuesday. Prior to that, the Clippers lost two overtime games, a double OT defeat to Sacramento and a single OT loss to Denver. The Clippers added Russell Westbrook, Mason Plumlee, Eric Gordon, and Bones Hyland to the roster in February, but the moves haven’t panned out yet.
With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who have combined to average 60.6 points during the losing run, the Clippers head to San Francisco in terrific shape. Over the last three games, George is hitting at a 48.1 percent rate while Leonard is shooting 58.3 percent from the field. Together, the pair has a 51.3 percent 3-point shooting percentage. Still, the Clippers are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games.
Golden State is 4-2 SU and ATS in its last six games. The Warriors are 8-1 SU in their last nine games at home and 4-1 SU in their last five at home against the Clippers.
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