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The Los Angeles Clippers look to extend the best start in franchise history when they host the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. Los Angeles has played stellar defense during a 6-1 start and is coming off a 114-82 annihilation of the Detroit Pistons on Monday.
The Clippers lead the NBA in scoring defense (89.4 points per game) and has held three of their last four opponents to 88 or fewer points. “We get excited about stopping teams and trying to keep them under certain numbers,” point guard Chris Paul said afterward. “That could be contagious all season.” Portland ousted the Clippers from the first round of the playoffs last season and enters Wednesday’s game with a three-game winning streak. Standout guards Damian Lillard (38 points) and C.J. McCollum (33) combined for 71 points in Tuesday’s 124-121 victory over the visiting Phoenix Suns.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, CSN Northwest (Portland), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
LINE HISTORY: The Clippers opened as big nine-point home favorites over the visiting Blazers. Early Wednesday morning that spread was bumped to -9.5 where it remains as of Wednesday afternoon. The total opened at 207 and by Wednesday afternoon was up two full points to 209. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS, 6-2 O/U): McCollum averaged 35 points over the past two games while draining 10-of-18 3-point attempts. He was on fire in the first quarter against Phoenix with 18 points on 7-of-7 shooting, and then Lillard took over late by scoring 22 points in the final stanza. “You see a guy going like that, it’s my job to feed him,” Lillard said afterward. “He had a big first quarter. We rode that out and, as he cooled off, that’s when I started to get more aggressive and find my way.”
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (6-1 SU, 6-1 ATS, 3-4 O/U): Los Angeles has won three consecutive games and that streak includes a 116-92 road bashing of the San Antonio Spurs. The early returns are mighty encouraging but coach Doc Rivers doesn’t want his squad to get full of themselves or become complacent. “We are good, but not great yet in my opinion,” Rivers said after the victory. “We were great, and we played well against a team in their first game of a long trip. I know we can get a lot better. Good is OK, but great is better, and that has been our attitude.”
DANCE TEAM BATTLE:
* Trail Blazers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
* Clippers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
* Over is 10-1 in Trail Blazers last 11 vs. NBA Pacific.
* Under is 6-0 in Clippers last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Los Angeles.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The road underdog Portland Trail Blazers are picking up 62 percent of the early spread wagering on Covers. Over is grabbing the majority of the totals selections. View full consensus data here.
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