NBA Game Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers

Mar 23, 2023

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Game: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Clippers

Time: 10:30 p.m.

Odds: Thunder +3.5, Clippers -3.5

Total: 231

The Los Angeles Clippers will complete their two-game series against the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder tonight looking to avenge Tuesday night’s 101-100 loss. They will do so without All-Star forward Paul George. George left Tuesday’s loss to the Thunder late in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a right leg injury. It is likely that he will not return for the remainder of the regular season. George will undergo another evaluation in two to three weeks after receiving a diagnosis of a sprained right knee.

With nine games left in the regular season, the Clippers (38-35) are fifth in the Western Conference. Without George, who is averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists, the team’s depth will undoubtedly be put to the test. Los Angeles will have to rely heavily on supporting players like Eric Gordon, Robert Covington, and Bones Hyland to fill the void created by George’s absence.

Prior to Tuesday’s loss to the Thunder, Los Angeles had won five out of its previous six games. Leonard was unable to get off a shot in the closing seconds, and George scored 18 points in the defeat. With three victories over the Clippers this year, Oklahoma City (36-36) looks to sweep the season series. Currently, the Thunder holds the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder’s point guard, missed the second game of a back-to-back earlier this month due to an abdominal strain, so the team has been cautious with him. Gilgeous-Alexander is not on the team’s injury list and it appears that he will play tonight. On Tuesday, Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points, and forward Jalen Williams added 20.

Oklahoma City had a balanced attack in its victory on Tuesday. Ten players scored. In 11 games this month, guard Isaiah Joe has scored 12 points and is averaging 10.1 per game. Olivier Sarr, who played a season-high 19 minutes,  contributed four points and six rebounds. The second-year pro outplayed Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Dario Saric, and he contributed crucial minutes against Clippers center Ivica Zubac.

Oklahoma City has won five of its last six games and appears to be in a strong position to make the playoffs. The Thunder is also 5-1 ATS in those six games. OKC has won four of the last five against the Clippers and they have covered in seven of the last eight against LA.

OKC is the most profitable ATS team in the NBA. The Thunder is 45-26-1 ATS this season. In their last 17 games on the road, which includes Tuesday night, OKC is 12-4-1 ATS. The Clippers are 4-2 ATS in their last six games. They have won five of their last seven games and they are 8-1 SU in their last nine games against Oklahoma City at home.

The Clippers are the most profitable Under team at home this season. The Under is 9-26-1 in Clippers home games this season. The Under has hit in five of the last six Clippers games, four of their last five home games, and is 10-5 in the last 15 Thunder-Clippers games.

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