The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a showdown between LA’s crosstown rivals, the Clippers and Lakers.
12:00 (AEST), Fri 7th May @ Staples Center, Los Angeles
History: Played 226: Lakers 150 V Clippers 76
Last meeting: April 4, 2021: Clippers 104 d Lakers 86 at Staples Center
Final Thoughts: The last LA derby of the 2020-21 regular season could be a dress rehearsal for the first round of the playoffs.
The 44-22 Clippers are fourth in the West and are duking it out with the Nuggets for the third seed.
After an 11-1 run during April, the Clippers dropped three straight games to the Pelicans, Suns and Nuggets. But they outlasted the Raptors 105-100 in their most recent game to halt the skid, Paul George (22 pts, 9 reb) and Marcus Morris (22 pts, 8 reb) sharing the load with Kawhi Leonard easing his way back from an injury-hampered period.
LeBron James’ return from injury lasted just two games and he will sit out this blockbuster. The 37-28, sixth-placed Lakers have won just two of their last eight, but they upset the Nuggets 93-89 three days ago.
Anthony Davis (25 pts, 7 reb) – himself only seven games back from a long layoff – stood up for the Lakers, who were also missing Dennis Schroder. The Lakers did a stellar defensive job on one of the NBA’s most potent offences.
The Clippers have won 23 of their last 28 against the Lakers – including both encounters this season.
Paul George (33 pts, 6 reb) starred in the archrivals’ season opener, won 116-109 by the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard (19 pts, 10 reb, 8 ast) led the charge in a 104-86 victory last month.
The Clippers are unsurprisingly hot $1.26 favourites here, but the Lakers showed plenty of grit to take down the in-form Nuggets. There’s plenty riding on every game from here on out for both teams – and the Lakers are had to pass up with such a big start.
OTHER NBA GAMES
|Charlotte Hornets V Chicago Bulls||Margin – Bulls 1-10 @ $2.72|
|Dallas Mavericks V Brooklyn Nets||Handicap – Mavericks +3.5 @ $1.90|
|Toronto Raptors V Washington Wizards||Result – Wizards @ $2.15|
|Detroit Pistons V Memphis Grizzlies||Handicap – Grizzlies -8.5 @ $1.80|
|Indiana Pacers V Atlanta Hawks||Handicap – Pacers +6.5 @ $1.87|
|Golden State Warriors V Oklahoma City Thunder||Total – Over 226.5 @ $1.93|