The Los Angeles Clippers head to Phoenix Tuesday night to take on the Suns in what is an elimination game for the Western Conference’s 5th seed. The Suns are coming off two straight road wins in Los Angeles against the Clippers with the last one being by 12 on Saturday. My prediction is that the Suns cover the 12-point spread at home. The Clippers are too decimated by injuries with their two stars being out in this game,a nd the Suns should ready at home. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction
The Phoenix Suns seem like they’re finally rounding into form with Kevin Durant solidified in the starting lineup.
Devin Booker has carried the Suns in this series at times. He leads the series and the entire playoffs in scoring at 35 PPG and in steals at 2.8 per game. Kevin Durant is second in scoring at 28 PPG this series. Torrey Craig and Deandre Ayton are up next in scoring this series. Craig averages 15.5 PPG and Ayton averages 15 PPG. Ayton also leads the Suns in rebounding this series at 11 per game. These four have been the biggest keys for the Suns in the series because of the Suns’ bench struggling this series.
The Suns have been one of the best defensive teams in the NBA this season. They’re 6th in points allowed at 111.6 per game, 7th in defensive rating at 112.3, 11th in rebounding at 44.3 per game, and 5th in blocks at 5.3 per game. They’re also 9th in point differential at +2.
On the other side, the Clippers have been decimated by injuries to their two big stars, and have had to go deep into their bench because of that.
In the playoffs, Kawhi Leonard was the big key for the Clippers in the first two games, being their leading scorer in the playoffs. With him out, the keys are with Russell Westbrook and Norman Powell. Westbrook averages 26 PPG and leads the team in assists at 7 per game and in blocks at 1.8 per game this series. Westbrook has been huge for the Clippers and Powell has too. Powell averages 20.5 PPG and scored 40 points in Game 3. Eric Gordon and Terence Mann are also big factors without their stars with Gordon averaging 12 PPG and Mann averaging 11 PPG.
The Clippers have been solid this series, but their series has been full of ups and downs on their end with injuries. They don’t stand out much statistically, but their depth is what’s keeping them afloat. Tyronn Lue has played 11 players in this series consistently, which is different for the playoffs.
This game comes down to the Suns having their stars and the Clippers not. The Suns should win and cover easily at home in Phoenix and move to the next round.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Odds
The Phoenix Suns are 12-point favorites against the Los Angeles Clippers and are -800 on the money line. The over/under is also listed at 224.5. It makes sense that the Suns are this much of a favorite because the Clippers won’t have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George available in this game. The over/under also makes sense because each team has been very good on defense across the board. This spread could move a bit because it’s so big for a playoff game too.
- Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
- Suns are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
Can Eric Gordon matchup with Devin Booker? Can Chris Paul matchup with Russell Westbrook?
Devin Booker vs. Eric Gordon
No one’s been better than Devin Booker these playoffs. He’s averaging 35 points, 5.5 assists, and 4 rebounds per game. He’ll be matched up against Eric Gordon most of the game, who averages 12 points, 2.5 assists, and 2 rebounds per game this series. Gordon has been good, but Booker is reason enough for the Suns to cover 12-points at home.
Russell Westbrook vs. Chris Paul
Russell Westbrook has been rejuvenated with the Clippers. In this series, he’s averaging 26 points, 7 assists, and 7.5 rebounds per game. He’ll be matched up against Chris Paul most of the game, who averages 13 points, 8.5 assists, and 6 rebounds this series. Chris Paul has been inconsistent this series, which is why Westbrook has the advantage in this game, but the Suns should still win easily at home.
Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup
Phoenix Suns Starting Lineups
Los Angeles Clippers Injuries: SF Kawhi Leonard (Knee) O, SG Paul George (Knee) O
Phoenix Suns Injuries: PG Cam Payne (Back) P