The Portland Trail Blazers will play the second leg of their four-game West Coast road trip, as they take on the LA Clippers, who just recovered from a recent traumatic experience at the hands of Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
Catch this game live on Thursday, December 31, at 11 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: LA Clippers (4-1, 1-1 at home)
The Clippers are back in the win column. After getting annihilated by the Dallas Mavericks in a 51-point loss at home last Monday, the Clippers vented their frustrations and took down the Minnesota Timberwolves at STAPLES Center Wednesday morning, 124-101.
The Clippers also easily covered their double-digit spread as home favorites and are now 3-1 against the spread to start the season. Kawhi Leonard skipped the Timberwolves game, as he continues to heal from a facial injury.
Leonard might have to sit out the date with Portland, which could mean Luke Kennard will soak up plenty of extra minutes again. Kennard started and collected 15 points with three triples against Minnesota.
The Clippers are shooting well from behind the arc so far this season, as they are inside the top 10 in terms of threes per game (13.3) and 3-point percentage (37.3).
The Clippers have defeated Portland both times in their last two home games against the Blazers.
ROAD TEAM: Portland Trail Blazers (2-1, 1-0 on the road)
Gary Trent Jr. shot the lights out in the Blazers’ 115-107 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, burying seven 3-pointers for 28 points.
With opposing defenses focused on stopping the tandem of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, guys like Trent, Enes Kanter, and Jusuf Nurkic are often left with ample scoring opportunities. Lillard paced the Blazers in the Lakers game with 31 points while McCollum had 20 points, though it took him 22 field goal attempts to get there.
However, Trent is deemed questionable for Thursday’s game due to a right calf strain. Trent’s outside shooting and floor-stretching impact will be missed by the Blazers if he gets ruled out, but the team could expect Carmelo Anthony to be there to provide scoring punch off the bench.
Melo wasn’t able to suit up versus the Lakers because of COVID-19 protocols but is reportedly gearing up for Thursday’s contest in Tinseltown.
The Blazers are 3-1 against the spread in their last four road games.
After winning against the Houston Rockets with their offense the Blazers defeated the Lakers with their defense. This time around, the Blazers will win against the Clippers to the tune of a 112-106 score with a balanced offense and defense.