The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors renew their Pacific Division rivalry on Friday night at the Chase Center.
The Clippers beat the Warriors 108-107 last Wednesday at this same venue. Golden State gave the Clippers a tough fight but Kawhi Leonard and Paul George each scored 21 points to lead Los Angeles to a road victory. Steph Curry tweaked his ankle and left the game after scoring just 13 points for the Dubs. Andrew Wiggins and Eric Paschall led the Warriors with 19 points each in a losing effort.
The Clippers have beaten Golden State in each of their last three meetings, two of which were played at Chase Center.
The LA Clippers are currently third in the Pacific Division with their 6-3 record. The Clippers opened the season red hot with four wins in their first five games, including an opening day win over the defending champions Lakers. But the team is just 2-2 in their last four games played although they head back to the Chase Center after defeating the Warriors there 108-101 last Wednesday.
Paul George is having a strong start to the season. PG leads the Clippers in scoring at 24.6 points per game while also grabbing 6.5 rebounds and issuing 4.8 assists per outing. Kawhi Leonard is scoring 23.0 points while leading the team in passing at 6.1 dimes per contest. Serge Ibaka is the team’s leading rebounder at 7.0 boards per game while also scoring 11.8 points per night. Nicolas Batum is having a fine year at 10.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Los Angeles is the 17th best scoring team in the NBA at 110.6 points per game allowed. The Clippers have the 11th best scoring defense at 108.6 points per game allowed. They are also 15th in the league in passing at 24.4 dimes per contest and are 25th off the glass at 42.2 boards grabbed per contest.
The Golden State Warriors are 4-4 to start their 2020-21 NBA campaign. Golden State was blown out in their first two games of the season but they have recovered to win four of their last six games. Prior to their loss to the Clippers last Wednesday, Golden State won back to back games against the Blazers and Kings. The Dubs are 2-2 in their current homestand.
Steph Curry leads the Warriors in scoring and passing at 29.6 points and 6.2 assists per game. Andrew Wiggins is putting up 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per outing while rookie James Wiseman is averaging 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per contest. Newcomer Kelly Oubre Jr. is contributing 10.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per night.
The Warriors are the 9th best scoring team in the NBA at 114.5 points per game this season. Golden State is 19th in rebounding at only 43.9 boards grabbed per contest. The Dubs are 16th in passing at 24.3 assists per game and they have the 4th worst scoring defense in the league at 119.5 points per game allowed.
After getting blown out in their first two games, the Warriors won four out of five games before dropping their last contest to the Clippers. Golden State is missing Klay Thompson but the return of Draymond Green has made them a better team than at the start of the year. Steph Curry is slowly getting his rhythm back and rookie James Wiseman has looked impressive.
The Clippers still have one of the most talented teams in the league. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, they have two superstars who can take over ball games. Despite losing Sixth Man of the Year winner Montrezl Harrell, the Clippers still have a very deep bench. Kawhi just played his first back to back game since 2017, signifying that he’s back at full strength. That’s bad news for the rest of the league.
Golden State has started to pick up wins since the return of Draymond Green. They also have players like Oubre, Wiggins, and Wiseman who can help Steph Curry carry the load. But Curry has been downgraded to questionable for this game after rolling his ankle in the last game between these teams. If Curry is a no-go, there’s no way the Dubs are beating a rested Clippers team that has Kawhi at full strength.
Prediction: LA Clippers
The Clippers are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games played. Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS in their last five games played on the road. The Warriors are 3-6 ATS in their last nine games played. Golden State is 2-2 ATS in four home games played this season, and 8-4 ATS in their last 12 Friday games. Golden State is 2-5 ATS in their last seven games when their opponent gives up 100 or more points in their previous game and 2-6 ATS when their opponent is coming off a game where they scored 100 or more points. Head to head, the Clippers are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Warriors. Los Angeles is also 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings in Golden State.
Even without Klay Thompson, this Golden State team has plenty of scorers. However, the new faces like Wiggins, Oubre, and Wiseman didn’t get the benefit from a short offseason. Having little time to jell with the team showed in their last game as Wiseman admitted to being confused at times. Oubre and Wiggins have adjusted better but still, this isn’t a very cohesive team. You can’t say the same about the Clippers whose core was here last year. I like the Warriors but I don’t think they can get within five points of this very loaded Clippers team which has Leonard at full strength.
Prediction: Clippers -5.5
The total has gone over in five out of the nine games played by the Clippers. The over is 3-2 in their five road games played this season, and 4-2 in their last six games against the Pacific Division. The total has gone over in six out of the last nine games played by the Warriors in January. The under is 11-3 in Golden State’s last 14 games against the Pacific Division. Head to head, the total has gone over in 14 out of the last 20 games played between these two teams.
Kawhi Leonard played his first back to back game last Wednesday and he was “limited” to 21 points. With Leonard having the benefit of rest for this game, he should give the Warriors more problems. The Clippers weren’t at their best the last time out but should be in top condition on Friday night. I also expect a better showing from the Warriors but they won’t be able to outscore the Clippers in a track meet. Both teams make the adjustments here and these two teams will bounce back from an underwhelming performance last Wednesday.
Prediction: Over 232.5
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