The Los Angeles Clippers aim to pick up their fifth consecutive victory when they visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Los Angeles has been especially good the past three games, winning by an average of 19.7 points after cruising to a 99-79 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
Oklahoma City also has been rolling up the victories but had an eight-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday when it suffered an 88-82 loss to the Detroit Pistons. The Thunder averaged 117.3 points during the stretch of wins before recording a season-low point total against the Pistons on a night in which All-Star small forward Kevin Durant was rested. Los Angeles is thriving and led by as many as 33 points while routing the Timberwolves. The Clippers plan to rest point guard Chris Paul, shooting guard J.J. Redick and center DeAndre Jordan on Thursday.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
LINE HISTORY: The Thunder opened as 8.5-point favorites at home and the total opened at 214.
Clippers – PG C. Paul (Out Thursday, rest), SG J. Redick (Out Thursday, rest), C D. Jordan (Out Thursday, rest), SF P. Pierce (Out Thursday, ankle), PF B. Griffin (Out Thursday, suspension).
Thunder – No injuries to report.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Clippers (-7.9) – Thunder (-10.2) + home court (-3) = Thunder -5.3
DANCE TEAM WAR:
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (47-27, 35-36-3 ATS, 30-44 O/U): Los Angeles is 4 1/2 games behind the third-place Thunder in the Western Conference standings and resting three starters seems to indicate the Clippers feel that rising above fourth place isn’t feasible with just eight games remaining. Los Angeles will get power forward Blake Griffin (hand, suspension) back on Sunday and will have to get Griffin plenty of playing time during the final six games. Backup shooting guard Jamal Crawford has scored in double digits in five straight games and backup point guard Austin Rivers is averaging 13 points over the past two games.
ABOUT THE THUNDER (52-23, 33-41-1 ATS, 34-41 O/U): Oklahoma City badly missed Durant during the loss to the Pistons but coach Billy Donovan said he can’t factor in the opponent when it comes to resting a player. “We have to make decisions of what’s best for our team,” Donovan told reporters. “It’s not necessarily who we’re playing against, but where we’re at right now — physically, mentally, emotionally. Games, minutes, all those things, I think you have to evaluate that after games and do what’s best for your team.” All-Star point Russell Westbrook had 24 points for his third consecutive 20-point scoring effort but was just 8-of-28 shooting against the Pistons.
* Clippers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Thunder are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Under is 4-0 in Clippers last 4 vs. Western Conference.
* Underdog is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: With the Clippers catching eight and a half points, the public favored them slightly at a rate of 53%. No data on the total as of publishing time for this article.