The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips as injury-hampered Los Angeles outfits the Lakers and Clippers square off for the second time this season.
14:00 (AEDT), Fri 4th Feb @ Cryto.com Arena, Los Angeles
History: Played 228: Lakers 150 V Clippers 78
Last meeting: December 3, 2021: Clippers 119 d Lakers 115 at Staples Center
Final Thoughts: Crosstown rivals LA Clippers and LA Lakers are both floundering in the play-in positions with losing records and are desperate to build some momentum heading towards the All-Star break.
The 25-27 Lakers are searching for their first back-to-back wins since January 7. After losing eight of their previous 11, they carved out a 99-94 victory over the Trail Blazers yesterday. Anthony Davis, who returned from a lengthy injury layoff last week, starred with 30 points and 15 rebounds in LeBron James’ absence, while Carmelo Anthony had 24 points off the bench. Russell Westbrook was one point shy of a triple-double.
James has missed the Lakers’ last four games and is unlikely to return today. The Lakers are 6-10 without the megastar, who has been in vintage touch when on the court this season.
The 26-27 Clippers have been similarly decimated by injuries in this campaign. Paul George – the team’s defacto leader with Kawhi Leonard yet to play this season – has been sidelined since Christmas. The Clippers have kept their heads above water with seven wins from their last 13 games, the likes of Amir Coffey, Luke Kennard, Ivica Zubac and Reggie Jackson coming to the fore.
They are returning from an eight-game roadstand, which concluded with a 115-90 thumping of the Hornets and a 122-116 loss to the Pacers on consecutive days. Coffey (27 pts, 4 ast) and Reggie Jackson (21 pts, 5 ast) were strong in the back-court, while Serge Ibaka (14 pts, 11 reb) was solid with starting big man Zubac – listed as questionable today – sitting out the game.
The Clippers have won 25 of their last 31 against the Lakers, including all four LA derbies since the start of last season. They prevailed 119-115 in the only clash so far this season in early-December. Marcus Morris (21 pts) hit six three-pointers, Paul George (19 pts, 8 reb, 9 ast) was influential and Luke Kennard (19 pts) dropped five threes – including a pair of clutch efforts in the dying minutes – off the bench in a balanced Clippers team display. Anthony Davis and LeBron James combined for 50 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists, while Malik Monk had 20 points off the bench for the Lakers.
The Clippers are 16-12 at Staples Center/Cryto.com Arena this season (12-16 ATS), winning their last three at home. The Lakers are also 16-12 at the shared, recently-renamed venue (11-17 ATS), boasting six wins in their last eight.
LeBron’s likely non-appearance is the key factor here, while the Lakers are 2-3 on a back-to-back this season. The Clippers are defensively efficient unit and a solid shooting team, while their three-day rest should prove decisive here.
Best Bet: Margin – Clippers 1-10 @ $2.72
Same Game Multi: Result – Clippers; Total – Over 219.5; Amir Coffey Points – Over 12.5; Anthony Davis Points – Over 26.5 @ $9.81