The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips as Western Conference rivals Denver Nuggets and LA Clippers square off for the third time this season.
14:00 (AEDT), Thu 20th Jan @ Ball Arena, Denver
History: Played 195: Nuggets 105 V Clippers 90
Last meeting: January 11, 2022: Clippers 87 d Nuggets 85 at Cryto.com Arena
Final Thoughts: Denver Nuggets and LA Clippers remain housed in the Western Conference’s midtable logjam. The 22-20 Nuggets sit sixth, while the 22-23 Clippers are three spots further back.
The teams’ 2021-22 season ledger is square after two tight clashes in Los Angeles. Nikola Jokic (26 pts, 22 reb, 8 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk) was at his stats-sheet-stuffing best as the Nuggets rallied to a 103-100 Boxing Day win. The Clippers overcame an 25-point deficit to squeak home 87-85 last week; Amir Coffey (18 pts, 5 reb, 7 ast, 4 stl) was a standout in a balanced team performance, negating strong showings from Jokic (21 pts, 13 reb, 8 ast) and Aaron Gordon (30 pts, 12 reb).
The Nuggets have won four of their last six. But after blistering blowouts of the Trail Blazers (140-108) and Lakers (133-96), they went down convincingly to the Jazz (125-102) three days ago. In a stunning collapse, they were outscored 44-18 in the last 14 minutes. Nikola Jokic racked up triple-doubles against the Lakers and Jazz and has surged into contention for back-to-back MVP gongs, averaging 25.3 points, 13.9 rebounds and 7.4 assists for the season.
The Clippers have won three of their last five, bouncing back from consecutive road losses to the Pelicans and Spurs with a 139-133 home victory over the Pacers two days ago. Nicolas Batum had a season-high 32 points (including seven three-pointers), Reggie Jackson chimed in with 26 points and Marcus Morris (21 pts, 8 reb) was impressive as the Clippers soldier on without marquee duo Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
The Clippers rank second-last offensively since George suffered an elbow injury on Christmas. Their cause here has been further hampered by Batum being ruled out.
The Nuggets are 11-8 at home, winning three of their last four at Ball Arena. The Clippers – who started a gruelling 13-day, eight-game roadstand in Denver – are 7-11 on the road, winning just two of their last eight away.
The Nuggets’ twin second-half fadeouts in the past nine days are a series concern. But when they switch on for four quarters, Jokic, Gordon and co. are among the NBA’s most formidable offensive units. Expect the hosts to get the job done comfortably at home today.
Best Bet: Margin – Nuggets 11+ @ $2.22
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|Memphis Grizzlies @ Milwaukee Bucks||Handicap – Bucks -6.5 @ $1.90|
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