Despite rattling off five wins in their past six games, the Phoenix Suns dropped last night’s home matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies, blowing a double-digit fourth-quarter lead. Can Phoenix steal a road win against the red-hot Clippers to make up for it?
Check out our Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers predictions, analysis, betting picks, and projected starting lineups for both teams below.
Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction
The “James Harden Experiment” did not start how the Los Angeles Clippers had hoped, as they lost five consecutive games and plummeted down the Western Conference standings after trading for him; however, since then, it has been nothing but smooth sailing.
As a matter of fact, the Clippers are 14-3 in their past 17 games, which is tied with the Boston Celtics for the best record in the NBA in that span. Before last night’s narrow loss to a desperate Lakers team, the Clippers had won 12 straight games when Kawhi Leonard was on the floor, too.
Additionally, Los Angeles has boasted the third-highest offensive rating, largely due to its shooting efficiency; the Clippers are shooting roughly 51% from the field, 41% from behind the arc, and 86% from the charity stripe in the last 17 games. That sample size is ginormous and proves how effective this team has become on that end of the floor in such a short period of time.
The one general area Los Angeles has not excelled in recently is its defense. The Clippers have allowed opponents to shoot just shy of 47% from the floor and 37% from three-point land in that same stretch, with a defensive rating of 116.2 at home. That is a concern when playing a team like Phoenix with three of the league’s best scorers (Durant, Beal, and Booker).
Before we can back Phoenix with the points, though, there is a big question mark: Kevin Durant’s availability. Durant played 36 minutes last night after missing three games with a hamstring injury and is currently listed as day-to-day.
If Durant plays, we like the Suns getting 6.5 points; their backs are up against the wall, and they need to start stringing together some wins if they want to get back into the playoff picture. Even if they don’t win, beating an uber-talented offensive team by seven points is a tough ask, especially when that team (Phoenix) has had more success on the road (8-6) than at home (11-11) this season.
Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction: Suns +6.5 (-110) IF Durant Plays
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Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Best Odds
The Los Angeles Clippers are 6.5-point home favorites to bounce back against the Suns after losing to the Lakers in a crosstown rivalry game. Phoenix holds Moneyline odds of +210 to secure an impressive road win against the hottest team in the NBA, while Los Angeles is -258 to win at home. The Over/Under hangs around 230 points, with -110 odds on each side.
Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup
Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Injuries
Phoenix might have had Kevin Durant back in the lineup last night, but it was still missing a few key rotational players, including Eric Gordon (knee), Damion Lee (knee), Bol Bol (ankle), and Nassir Little (knee.) Unless Durant, Bradley Beal, or Devin Booker are unexpectedly ruled out due to a rest day or a minor injury, the injury report should be similar for Monday night’s game.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles almost has a completely clean injury report, with Moussa Diabate (hand) being the only player listed as out. Keep checking in leading up to tip-off, though, as players could be late scratches for various reasons.