The Los Angeles Clippers are closing in on the fourth-place Utah Jazz in the Western Conference playoff chase and look to create more pressure on Utah when they play the host Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. The Clippers are just one game behind Utah after posting back-to-back victories and have a crucial contest against the Jazz on Saturday.
The Clippers received 30 points from power forward Blake Griffin while posting a 114-105 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday. Griffin is averaging 26.5 points over the past two games and he is physically strong after dealing with injuries earlier in the season. The Lakers have lost five straight games during their fourth consecutive 50-loss campaign as they limp to the finish line. D’Angelo Russell started at shooting guard Sunday for the first time and poured in a career-best 40 points in Sunday’s 125-120 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles)
LINE HISTORY: The “road team” Clippers opened the betting as 8-point favorites over the Lakers and that spread has been bumped up to 9 points at most shops. The total hit the board at 221 and has been dropped to 219.5 as of Tuesday afternoon. Check out the complete line history here.
Clippers – C D. Stone (Out Indefinitely, knee).
Lakers – SG N. Young (Probable Tuesday, flu), PG T. Ennis (Questionable Tuesday, shoulder), SF L. Deng (Out For Season, coach’s decision), C T. Mozgov (Out For Season, coach’s decision).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Clippers (-6.1) – Lakers (4.3) + home court (-3) = Clippers -7.4
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (42-29 SU, 34-37 ATS, 38-32-1 O/U): Numerous players were able to draw rest in the final quarter after the Clippers led the Knicks by 25 points through three quarters, a situation Griffin found pleasing. “I’d like to see us execute like this in a little more stressful environment on the road, different situations,” Griffin told reporters. “It’s always nice to have a game where most everybody’s under 30 minutes. You get to rest in the fourth quarter and get ready for the Lakers.” Point guard Chris Paul recorded 13 points and 13 assists after having poor shooting performances — 0-of-8 and 2-of-10 — in two of the previous three games.
ABOUT THE LAKERS (20-50 SU, 30-38-2 ATS, 39-30-1 O/U): Russell started at shooting guard due to Nick Young’s illness and he took a much more aggressive approach while making 14-of-22 shots, including 7-of-12 from 3-point range. “I feel like when you’re playing shooting guard, you’ve got to score the ball or make plays for your teammates,” Russell told reporters. “Playing the point guard, it’s harder to do that, be aggressive, try to score the ball every time, because you’ve got to make at least one pass. But figuring it out, whatever position I’m in, I’m going to try to make the best of it.” Russell recently was demoted as the starting point guard and coach Luke Walton is employing Jordan Clarkson as the starter at that position.
* Clippers are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
* Lakers are 1-10-1 ATS in their last 12 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
* Under is 8-1 in Clippers last 9 vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
* Under is 9-1 in Lakers last 10 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Under is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 60 percent of Covers users are taking chalk with the road favorite Clippers and Over is picking up 61 percent of the totals wagers. View full consensus data here.