The Los Angeles Clippers (24-21; 24-21 ATS) are riding a five-game losing streak following a 112-94 defeat to Golden State that dropped them to the eighth spot of the Western Conference. The San Antonio Spurs (27-20; 28-19 ATS) are two games ahead, sitting at the sixth spot after a pair of consecutive victories on the road at Dallas 105-101 and Minnesota 116-113.
These two foes will meet each other for the fourth time this season, and the Spurs lead the series 2-1, winning the previous two matchups including a 125-87 demolition job on the home court.
The Clippers are still missing Luc Mbah a Moute (knee), but Lou Williams’ and Danilo Gallinari’s eventual absence would be a much bigger problem for the Clippers. Both these guys are listed as questionable for tonight’s matchup. On the other side, the Spurs could be without DeMar DeRozan who’s listed as probable due to ankle soreness.
The Spurs opened as 4.5-point favorites (since moved to 7 points) with the total at 222.5 points and the Clippers at +230 money line odds. The situation with Williams, Gallinari, and DeRozan is still bleary, but the adjusted odds could mean that DeRozan has the best chance to play tonight, or neither of these guys will be on the court which would be a huge blow for the Clippers. Gallinari is their 2nd-best scorer while Lou Williams is arguably the best 6th man in the league.
What’s at Stake?
This is a big game for both teams, considering their current positions on the Western Conference table. Also, the Clippers desperately need to end up their losing streak and finally get the things going or their playoff campaign will be in real jeopardy. The Spurs have been playing very well lately, so they are certainly more comfortable ahead of this game, but they also need a win over their conference rival to clinch the series.
After four games at home, the Los Angeles Clippers start a four-game journey with the matchup at San Antonio and will visit the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night. The San Antonio Spurs will have one day more to rest and will visit the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night before another tough challenge on the road at New Orleans.
While the Clippers play at a pretty fast pace with 100.9 possessions per 48 minutes, the San Antonio Spurs are recording 97.6 possessions per 48 minutes. The Clippers like to push the ball in transition and to constantly move the ball on the offensive end, but that’s what was missing over their last five games. Also, in that previous 38-point defeat at San Antonio, the Clippers just couldn’t find their offensive flow that led to a terrible 35.7% shooting from the field and 17 turnovers, while the Spurs hit 57.8% of their field goals, scoring 21 points off turnovers and 14 fast break points.
The Clippers are scoring 112.7 points per 100 possessions (9th in the league), whilst the Spurs’ offensive rating is slightly better with 113.5 points per 100 possessions (7th). The Clippers are shooting 47.2% from the field (9th) and 38.4% from beyond the arc (4th), making 22.4 assists (23rd) and posting 44.8 rebounds per game (17th). On the other side, the Spurs are shooting 47.9% from the field (5th) and 40.4% from beyond the arc (1st), making 25.1 assists (8th) and grabbing 44.9 rebounds per contest (15th).
Defensively, the Clippers are allowing 112.6 points per 100 possessions (22nd) on 45.6% shooting from the field (11th) and just 34.6% from downtown (6th). The Clippers can play solid defense but only when their offense is executing well. The Spurs are conceding 111.0 points per 100 possessions (17th), allowing their opponents to hit 46.1% of their field goals (16th) and 35.4% of their 3-pointers. Considering all these numbers, we can expect to see a lot of points, as both teams mostly rely on their offensive weapons.
The Spurs’ defense is definitely their weaker part, but Gregg Popovich’s team is playing some really good offense over the last thirty days. San Antonio is 8-3 straight up and ATS in its last 11 games overall and is 12-2 straight up and ATS in its previous 14 games on the home court. The Spurs are well-known as a tough home team, so they should win this game even if they play without DeMar DeRozan. I think the Clippers will miss more Gallinari and Williams, so I’ll take the hosts to cover if the line stays below eight points. The Clippers are 3-5 straight up and 4-4 ATS in their last eight games on the road, and are 2-5 straight up and ATS in their previous seven meetings with the Spurs in Texas.
When it comes to the totals, this one should be finished in the over even without some prolific scorers on both sides. The over has hit in five of the last six H2H duels, and with some defensive problems on both sides of the court, I’m backing a high-scoring affair with around 230 points in the total.