Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers Preview
If the Los Angeles Lakers are going to have any chance at making the playoffs, they’ll have to take care of their home court and get some wins over some teams that are currently in playoff position. They have a chance to do both tonight in the Battle of Los Angeles as they take on the Los Angeles Clippers in what will be a home game for the Lakers.
The Clippers are currently one-half game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs for the seventh spot in the Western Conference. They are 36-29 on the season, have won their last two games and are 6-4 in their last 10. The Lakers, meanwhile, have lost their last two games and are 3-7 in their last 10. They have a record of 30-33 which has them at 10th in the Western Conference.
The Lakers and Clippers played most recently on January 31, with the Lakers winning 123-120 behind 29 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists from LeBron James, while Lou Williams led the Clippers with 24 points.
Time: 10:30pm ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Channel: SPECSN, FSPT
LA Clippers Starting Lineup
While many may have expected that the Los Angeles Clippers would fold after trading away some of their better players, team owner Steve Ballmer and coach Doc Rivers had other plans. On paper and based on talent alone, the Clippers have beaten some teams they have no business beating, and the same can be said about tonight’s matchup where the talent seems to heavily be on the Lakers’ side, but again, someone forgot to tell the Clippers.
“Just because you’re at home, you still play tough teams,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “The bottom line for us, we have to win games.”
They beat a young Kings team on Friday 116-109 that is hungry for a playoff spot and last night they had no problem dispatching the Knicks 128-107. The Clippers limited several of the Knicks starters and outscored them immediately, with an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter. Things only got worse for the Knicks as the Clippers went into the half with a 36-point lead.
Landry Shamet had one of his better games since being traded to the Clippers as he scored 21 points. He was one of six players in double figures for the Clippers. Danilo Gallinari chipped in 20 and rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 16. The Clippers also relied heavily on their bench studs Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, but add another player in JaMychal Green to that group as well. The trio scored 52 points against the Knicks.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
The Los Angeles Lakers were able to snap a two-game skid last Wednesday with a win over the New Orleans Pelicans, but have since lost their next two. Their loss on Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks wasn’t much of a surprise, considering the Bucks have the best record in the NBA, but they followed that by a 109-118 loss against the worst team in the NBA in the Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers were unable to limit rookie center DeAndre Ayton, who finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Outside of their core three players and JaVale McGee, the Lakers just could not muster up enough offense, especially with one of those three, Kyle Kuzma, only scoring 13 points.
“It’s just unfortunate, with the opportunity that we’ve had, we haven’t been able to seize that opportunity,” Lakers star LeBron James said.
James finished with 27 points, 16 assists and nine rebounds in the game and Brandon Ingram had 25 points. The choice to play small ball against Ayton and the Suns backfired, and with the Lakers seemingly always trying to rally late after going down early seems to continue to hurt them.
Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds
The Los Angeles Lakers are four-point favorites to win tonight’s game at home. The Lakers are 18-13 at home and 21-17 as the favorite. The Clippers are 18-17 on the road and 11-21 as the underdog.
The over/under is 234 points and the Lakers are -170 on the moneyline after opening at -180.
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