Atlanta (32-23) at L.A. Clippers (34-21)
When: Wednesday, February 15th 2017
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 10:30 ET | TV: FSN Southeast, Prime Ticket
The two fourth place teams in their respective conferences meet Wednesday night in the final game before the All-Star Break as the Los Angeles Clippers host the Atlanta Hawks. L.A., which had allowed 100+ points in 11 consecutive games, limited the Utah Jazz to 32.2% shooting while setting a season low for points allowed in an 88-72 victory on Monday. DeAndre Jordan, who leads the NBA in field-goal percentage (69.4 percent) and is third in rebounding (13.7), finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots. Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists Monday, and is averaging 24.3 points and 8.9 rebounds in nine games since returning from right knee surgery. J.J. Redick, who is averaging 15.1 points per game, is shooting just 30.9% from the field in his past five games and a dismal 23.3% from 3-point territory. The Clippers are seventh in the NBA in scoring at 108.1 points per game and have won three in a row overall. Guard Austin Rivers scored 27 points to lead the Clippers over the Hawks in Atlanta on January 23rd.
Atlanta enters the game just 1.5 games behind Washington in the Southeast Division and they have split the first two games of their three-game West Coast trip. The Hawks have won four of their past six games overall after Monday’s 109-104 overtime victory at Portland. Center Dwight Howard, who ranks second in the league in shooting from the field (64.5%) and fourth in rebounding (12.9), pulled down 16 rebounds to go with 19 points and four blocked shots in Atlanta’s victory on Monday. Paul Millsap scored 21 points, hitting the game-tying shot at the buzzer to force the extra period. Millsap is averaging a career-best 18.1 points to go with 8.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per games, while point guard Dennis Schroder is scoring 21.8 points on 48.5% shooting from the field in the last four. Tim Hardaway Jr., who has recently moved into the starting lineup, is averaging 22.5 points in his past six games while hitting 51.1% of his shots from the field. Atlanta ranks fifth in the NBA in steals (8.4) and sixth in assists (24 per game).
Atlanta is playing well right now, but the Clippers are only laying a couple of points at home. The Clippers shot 50% from the field and held Atlanta to 42% in the last meeting and also beat the Hawks on the boards. I can see more of the same tonight.
Pick: Clippers -2.5