The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim with tips for a showdown between the LA Clippers and San Antonio Spurs.
13.30 (AEDT), Fri 1st Nov @ Staples Center, Los Angeles
History: Played 181: Spurs 135 V Clippers 46
Last meeting: January 20, 2019: Clippers 103 d Spurs 95 at AT&T Center
Final Thoughts: Today’s three-game NBA schedule concludes with the LA Clippers’ new talisman, Kawhi Leonard, taking on one of his former teams in the San Antonio Spurs.
The Championship-favourite Clippers have slipped to a 3-2 record after a couple of recent road losses. They crashed to the Suns (130-122) and Jazz (110-96) either side of a 111-96 home win over the Hornets in their last three.
Leonard sat out yesterday’s loss in Utah, however. Enjoying a rare start, Lou Williams top-scored with 24 points, while JaMychal Green put up 23 points and 8 rebounds off the bench.
The Spurs have made a perfect 3-0 start, banking wins over the Knicks (120-111), Wizards (124-122) and Blazers (113-110).
LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 21.3 points and 8 rebounds, while DeMar DeRozan is putting up 22 points and 5 rebounds a night.
One of the NBA’s most lopsided rivalries has found a more even keel in recent years. The Clippers have won six of 11 encounters over the past three campaigns, while last season’s four games were split two apiece.
The Clippers have won five of their last seven against the Spurs at Staples Center.
Though Paul George remains sidelined, Leonard’s return is the key factor in this one. The two-franchise Championship winner is already averaging 27 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists in Clippers colours.
Meanwhile, this is the Spurs’ first away game of the season. They went just 16-25 on the road last season. Expect the Clippers to inflict San Antonio’s first loss with Kawhi leading the way – but the visitors should keep it tight.
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