The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a mouth-watering showdown between Western Conference title hopefuls LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets.
13:00 (AEDT), Fri 2nd Apr @ Staples Center, Los Angeles
History: Played 179: Nuggets 102 V Clippers 77
Last meeting: December 25, 2020: Clippers 121 d Nuggets 108 at Pepsi Center
Final Thoughts: Western Conference heavyweights LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets square off for the second time this season.
In the teams’ first clash since the Nuggets recovered from a 3-1 deficit to win their Conference Semifinals series in seven games, the Clippers chalked up a 121-108 victory in Denver on Christmas Day.
Paul George (23 pts, 5 reb, 9 ast) and Kawhi Leonard (21 pts, 5 reb, 7 ast) both starred for the Clippers. Nikola Jokic (24 pts, 9 reb, 10 ast) couldn’t have don much more to inspire the Nuggets.
The 32-17 Clippers are third in the West and have won five of their last six. But an impressive winning streak culminating in a 122-112 victory over the 76ers was snapped by a shock 103-96 loss to the Magic.
George pulled out of the game with a foot injury but is set to return for this blockbuster.
The 29-18 Nuggets are fifth in the West, winning seven of their last nine. They finished March on a three-game tear courtesy of victories over the Pelicans (113-108), Hawks (126-102) and 76ers (104-95).
Denver rocketed out of the blocks against Philadelphia, leading 44-22 at the end of the first quarter. Jamal Murray (30 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast), Jokic (21 pts, 10 reb, 5 ast) and Michael Porter Jr (27 pts, 12 reb) all fired in the key win.
The Clippers are 17-7 at home (14-10 ATS). The Nuggets are 15-9 on the road (13-11 ATS). I’m backing the Clippers for the bounce-back as slight underdogs.
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