Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Clippers Preview
The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers are both trying to hang onto their spots in the Western and Eastern playoff race, but one team will face a setback tonight as the Clippers host the Nets at Staples Center.
The Nets are just two games ahead of the Miami Heat, who won today. The Nets have lost their last two games and their 36-35 record has them in seventh place, so a loss tonight could tighten the gap between them and the Heat. Brooklyn enters tonight’s matchup going 5-5 in their last 10 games.
The Clippers seem to have a tight hold on eighth place in the Western Conference with a 40-30 record. The Sacramento Kings are six games behind them, which would be a large obstacle to overcome at this point in the season. The Clippers are 7-3 in their last 10 and won their last game. However, if they want to avoid a first-round matchup with the Golden State Warriors, they may want to try and move up as only one game currently separates sixth and eighth place.
The Clippers and Nets last faced off on November 17, with the Clippers taking the win 127-119. Danilo Gallinari led Los Angeles with 28 points, while Jarrett Allen had 24 for the Nets. The Nets will be looking to avoid the regular season sweep on the road.
Time: 9:00pm ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Channel: YES, FSPT
Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
The Brooklyn Nets have to get used to being on the road as they are just two games into a seven-game road trip away from Barclays Center.
The first two games of their road trip have led to losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz last night in their first game of a back-to-back.
“We had an admirable performance in Oklahoma City, didn’t come with the win,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Here they took it to us pretty good, and we just got to bounce back.”
In the Jazz game, the Nets went through a scoring drought at times. They were outscored by 17 in the first half, and their fourth-quarter rally was too little, too late. Just one of their starters, D’Angelo Russell, managed to score in double figures with 20 points, and Spencer Dinwiddie and Theo Pinson came off the bench for 22 points and 12 points apiece to try to keep them in the game.
Luckily, most players played limited minutes, with only Caris LeVert playing more then 25 in the game, so the Nets should be in good shape for tonight.
LA Clippers Starting Lineup
The fact that the Los Angeles Clippers are still in the playoff race after dealing several players, including their top scorer, Tobias Harris, at the trade deadline speaks a lot to the talent that has stayed and the leadership from coach Doc Rivers. Many expected the Clippers to tank and even after Steve Ballmer said he was not in favor of that, most NBA observers still expected the Clippers to drop down out of contention with the talent they had left.
The Clippers have won five of their last six games, with key wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Boston Celtics, who they beat by 15 points. Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams, and Montrezl Harrell continue to lead the charge for the Clippers. Rookies Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet are also playing well.
“I like the way we responded,” Rivers said. “That starting group really set the tone, which was great.”
In their last win, a 128-121 over the Chicago Bulls, Gallinari lead them in scoring with 27 points, Harrell added 26 and Williams had 21.
Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Clippers Betting Odds
The Clippers are six-point favorites to win tonight’s game at home. They are 21-13 at Staples Center and 27-8 as the favorite. Brooklyn is 15-19 on the road and 15-31 as the underdog.
The over/under is 230 points and the Clippers are -240 on the moneyline.
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