The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim with tips for a high-profile clash between the LA Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers.
14:30 (AEDT), Fri 8th Nov @ Staples Center, Los Angeles
History: Played 231: Clippers 151 V Trail Blazers 80
Last meeting: March 12, 2019: Trail Blazers 125 d Clippers 104 at Staples Center
Final Thoughts: Two Western Conference heavy hitters are looking for a bounce-back win at Staples Center today.
The 5-3 LA Clippers came away with an impressive 105-94 win over the Jazz on Monday (AEDT). But with Kawhi Leonard controversially rested, they were beaten at home 129-124 by the Bucks yesterday.
Lou Williams (34 pts, 11 ast) and Montrezl Harrell (34 pts, 13 reb) had big games. But there’s no question the Clippers are more formidable with Leonard in the side and Williams playing his familiar bench role.
The 3-4 Portland Trail Blazers are desperate for a win after back-to-back defeats to the 76ers (129-128) and Warriors (127-118).
Damian Lillard is averaging 31.1 points, 5 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. Hassan Whiteside had 22 points and 11 boards against Golden State. But the team is ranked 21st defensively in the NBA – a key area the Blazers need to improve on.
Portland are also trying to recover from the shoulder injury suffered by young center Zach Collins.
The Trail Blazers have won six of their last seven against the Clippers, including four straight at Staples Center.
But a refreshed Kawhi spells danger for the Blazers, with the Clippers boasting the NBA’s fourth-ranked offence.
The Clippers are 4-1 against the line at home and should be able to cover here.
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