Golden State (18-3) at L.A. Clippers (16-6)
When: Wednesday, December 7th 2016
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 10:35 ET | TV: ESPN
The Los Angeles Clippers will get their first crack at the two-time defending Western Conference champs when they host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night. The Clippers bowed out of the playoffs right before a potential meeting with Golden State in each of the last two postseasons. Los Angeles dropped three in a row on a long road trip, but bounced back with impressive wins at Cleveland and New Orleans before stumbling in its return home with a 111-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. The Clippers recorded more turnovers (20) than assists (19) in the loss to the Pacers and was outscored 35-17 in the third quarter, but remain just 2.5 games behind the Warriors in the Pacific Division. Blake Griffin was the bright spot against Indiana with 24 points and 16 rebounds and has three straight double-doubles – one points/assists and two points/rebounds. Chris Paul committed five turnovers on Sunday after totaling two in the previous two games. The Clippers will host the Pelicans and Trail Blazers later this week to wrap-up their four-game homestand.
The Warriors will begin a five-game road trip tonight in Los Angeles after coming off a 142-106 thumping of Indiana on Monday. Klay Thompson caught absolute fire in that game, scoring 60 points on 21-of-33 shooting in just 29 minutes of action before sitting out the fourth quarter. Thompson became the first Golden State player to reach 60 points since Rick Barry totaled 64 on March 26, 1974. Thompson averaged 26.3 points while hitting 53.8% of his 3-point attempts in four games against Los Angeles last season. Stephen Curry helped Thompson with a season-high 11 assists on Monday – the second time he reached double figures in the category this season. Golden State swept the four-game series in 2015-16 and took the last six from Los Angeles. The Warriors are shooting 50.3% from the floor this season – tops in the NBA. Golden State will travel to Utah tomorrow night to face the Jazz.
The Warriors own this series right now, but Los Angeles is playing well right now and they beat the Cavaliers handily last week on the road. This seems like a small number to lay with Golden State, but I think the Clippers are up for this challenge tonight and may pull off the upset.
Pick: Clippers +4