Pacific Division rivals collide at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Thursday night as the LA Clippers visit the Phoenix Suns.
The Clippers are 32-28 SU on the season and are one-half game behind the Suns who are at 32-27 SU in the Pacific Division. They are no. 3 and no. 2 respectively in the Division just slightly behind the 32-25 SU Sacramento Kings.
LA heads to this contest having won six out of its last 10 games played. The Clippers are 17-15 SU on the road this season and are 5-4 SU against their division rivals. Meanwhile, the Suns are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played and they are a perfect 9-0 SU against teams from the Pacific Division.
This is the third meeting between these two teams this season with the Suns winning the first two.
After suffering back-to-back losses, the Clippers bounced back with a 134-124 win over the Golden State Warriors last Tuesday night.
Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points and tied a career-high with 7 three-pointers. Norman Powell had 24 points while Paul George added 20 points with 8 assists as the Clippers broke in new acquisitions Mason Plumlee, Eric Gordon, and Bones Hyland.
The Clippers are scoring an average of 111.4 points per game and are pulling down 43.5 rebounds per contest. LA is also averaging 22.8 assists per game this season.
The Suns continue to wait for the return of Kevin Durant who is still out with a knee injury. Even without KD, the Suns have been winning games. Phoenix is 5-1 SU in their last six games played and they are coming off a 120-109 win over Pacific Division leaders Sacramento in their last game.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 32 points while Deandre Ayton posted a double-double with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Chris Paul also had a big game with 17 points and 19 assists for Phoenix.
Phoenix is averaging 112.8 points per game this season. The Suns are grabbing 44.0 rebounds per game and issuing 27.2 assists per contest.
The Clippers are 4-6 SU in their last 10 games played against the Clippers. L. A is also 1-3 SU in their last 4 games played in Phoenix.
LA Clippers SU trends:
Phoenix Suns SU trends:
The Clippers wanted to take it easy on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George heading to the All-Star break. But after consecutive losses to the Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks, Coach Ty Lue played the two for a total of 66 minutes and combined to score 53 points as the Clippers snapped their skid with a 134-124 win over the Golden State Warriors.
LA also got a first look at its new acquisitions. Mason Plumlee had 8 points and 5 rebounds in 17 minutes while Eric Gordon contributed 7 points and 3 assists, and Bones Hyland scored six points. With still 22 games left to play in their regular season, the Clippers have enough time to jell before heading to the playoffs where they can be a very dangerous team.
The Suns are looking forward to the day when Kevin Durant finally takes the court in a Phoenix uniform. They won the trade deadline by acquiring Durant from Brooklyn however, KD is still out with a right knee injury. Even without Durant, the Suns have won five out of their last six games and are 11-3 since losing 10 in a row last month.
Devin Booker put up 32 points in his third game back from a groin injury while Deandre Ayton added 29 points and Chris Paul with 19 assists. New acquisition TJ Warren played his first game with the Suns last Tuesday and had five points in seven minutes played.
This should be a good one between two playoff teams in the Western Conference and two teams that are right in the mix for the Pacific Division title. However, I will have to give the edge to the Clippers here. If Lue plays his stars the way he did against the Warriors, the Suns will not be able to match the Clippers on offense. Without Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson, they also won’t have the wing players to match PG and Kawhi.
Unless Ty Lue decides to sit one or both of Kawhi and PG, give me the Clippers to win on the road on Wednesday night. People talk a lot about the Suns being title contenders with Kevin Durant but when you look at the Clippers, they are a team that made significant acquisitions to bolster their second unit.
Personally, I like what the Clippers did at the deadline more than the Suns which lost valuable players like Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson in the KD trade. Plus, the Suns will be without KD here while the Clippers will have both of their superstars on Thursday night.
This should be a very good game, one that has a playoff atmosphere. But between these two teams, I like the Clippers because of their star power and depth. Prediction: LA Clippers -103
The Clippers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games played against the Suns. LA is 2-1 ATS in their last 3 games played in Phoenix.
LA Clippers ATS trends:
Phoenix Suns ATS trends:
Both teams have great ATS trends and both teams are playing well right now. The Suns have covered the spread in the last three head-to-head meetings between these two teams and are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played.
However, I like the Clippers here as both Kawhi and PG are coming off big games against the Warriors. The Suns lost two good defensive players Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson in the KD trade. Those two would have done a good job of limiting Kawhi and PG.
Unless Ty Lue sits one or two of his stars, the Clippers should win the game and cover the spread. Prediction: LA Clippers
The total has gone under in each of the last six games played between these two teams. The under is also 2-1 in their last 3 games played in Phoenix.
LA Clippers over/under trends:
Phoenix Suns over/under trends:
These teams have plenty of scorers but this season they haven’t been among the league’s elite offensive teams. Both also have good defenses and they are also both in the Bottom 10 in pace.
I expect a close game with defense taking center stage as both teams try to beat each other in the team standings. And yes, the under is 6-0 in the last six games played between these Pacific Division rivals.
Prediction: Under 224
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