Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers Preview
The Boston Celtics return to Staples Center tonight. But instead of taking on Lebron and a cupcake Laker squad, they’ll face a Clipper team currently on a four-game winning streak. In order, they’ve beaten the Kings, Knicks, Lakers, and Thunder, and secured a 4-game lead over Sacramento for the last seed in the western conference playoff standings.
The Celtics are also on a winning streak of their own. In their last home game, they lost to the Rockets but have been victorious since then in their last three road games. Arguably, their best win of the season came last Tuesday where they gave Golden State a 129-95 beatdown in Oracle. That was Steve Kerr’s worst loss at home as head coach of the Warriors.
Also, like the Clippers, Boston has picked up wins against the Lakers and Kings but have had to travel across the country in order to do so. The Celtics have a comfortable lead over Detroit for the 5th seed in the East and are only a game behind Indiana and Philadelphia, who are currently tied for the 3rd seed.
Time: 10:30pm ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Channel: NBSB, NBATV, FSPT
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Narratives can change really quick in the NBA. A couple of weeks ago, people were talking about the Celtics struggles and how there might be a potential split in the offseason with star guard Kyrie Irving. However, things changed when they traveled to the Bay Area and handed the mighty Warriors an absolute beatdown, as all the talk about their struggles seem to disappear.
On Saturday night Irving came face-to-face with his former teammate LeBron James again. Kyrie finished with 30 points, seven rebounds, and five assists while LeBron had himself a triple-double. As a team, The Celtics shot a combined 51.6 percent from the floor and were 14-of-38 from three, while the Lakers shot an abysmal 18.5% from behind the arc.
Gordon Heyward said after the game that he “feels like we’re on the right track, certainly winning three in a row helps that and we just want to be playing our best basketball come playoff time.” Hayward contributed 15 points, two rebounds and two assists in the win against the Lakers.
LA Clippers Starting Lineup
The Clippers will again be underdogs tonight as they look for their fifth win in a row. They still remain a dark horse playoff-contending team as their tied with the 7 seeded Spurs record wise and tied with the 6 seeded Jazz in winning percentage. On paper, the Clippers are not star-studded by any stretch, but they’re still finding ways to win games they’re not favored in. which goes to show that a little solid coaching and team chemistry could still get you somewhere in the NBA. The same cannot be said for their roommate’s, the Lakers.
Against the Thunder on Friday night, Lou Williams had a heck of a game and finished with 40 points. He went 13-of-24 from the floor and knocked down 4 out of 6 shots from three. Danilo Gallinari had a big night as well scoring 34 points with six rebounds and two assists. As a team, the Clippers managed to get off a ridiculous 31-of-46 free throw attempts, and hopefully, their success from the line continues as their home tonight. Defensively, the Clippers forced 11 turnovers on and out-rebounded the Thunder, 67-65.
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers Betting Odds
The Boston Celtics are slight 2-point favorites tonight on the road. They have a 36-18 record when favored and are 17-16 on the road this season. The Los Angeles Clippers have a 19-12 record at Staples this season but are unfortunately 12-21 as underdogs.
The money line has seen constant fluctuation since it opened yesterday, but it has settled at Boston being -127, with an over/under of 226.5 points.
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