Two banged-up teams square off in the desert, as the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Phoenix Suns for the second time this season. Read on for more about this Pacific division rivalry showdown.
Catch this game live on Friday, January 7, at 11 AM, Manila time.
Away: Los Angeles Clippers (19-19/7-8 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Reggie Jackson
- SG: Eric Bledsoe
- SF: Terance Mann
- PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
- C: Serge Ibaka
It’s been rough sailing for the Clippers since December. With Paul George sidelined with an elbow injury and some of their depth guys also out, the Clippers have struggled with consistency over the past few weeks. They are just 3-7 straight up in their last 10 games and have only covered the spread four times in that stretch. However, the Clippers, who lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves last Tuesday at home, 122-104, defeated the Suns in LA back in December even without the services of PG13 to the tune of a 111-95 score.
Marcus Morris took advantage of the Deandre Ayton-less Suns and led the Clippers with 24 points and 11 rebounds in that victory, while Reggie Jackson chipped in 19 points. The Clippers are also going to need their bench to step up, just like it did in the Minnesota game, albeit in a loss. Justise Winslow, James Ennis, and Xavier Moon powered LA’s bullpen with a combined output of 38 points. The Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as the road team versus a squad that owns a winning record at home.
Home: Phoenix Suns (29-8/16-4 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Cameron Johnson
- C: Jalen Smith
Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder are not out of the health and safety protocol, but they are both not going to make their return to action this Thursday against the Clippers. While that’s good news for the LA, it should be noted that the Suns have been winning games despite missing those guys. Phoenix has even gone 3-1 straight up in their past four games, all without Ayton and Crowder. That success is mainly due to the fact that Devin Booker has been available. Booker averaged 29.3 points with a 40.6 3FG% in the Suns’ last four games.
Like Ayton, Booker was not around in the first meeting with the Clippers this season, so Suns fans can look forward to the former Kentucky Wildcats star punishing LA’s defense. Phoenix has also gotten help in the middle with Bismack Biyombo turning out to be a useful addition. Biyombo came off the bench in the Suns’ 123-110 road win versus the New Orleans Pelicans last Wednesday and posted 16 points, six rebounds, and three blocks in 29 minutes. The Suns are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games after giving up at least 100 points in their previous contest.
Spread: The Clippers would want to put up a much better effort in this game after getting blown out by the Timberwolves. They recently just defeated the Nets on the road, so that’s something encouraging for those looking to bet on the Nets as a big road underdog against Phoenix. Leaning on the Clippers (+12) to cover vs. the Suns.
Over/Under: The Clippers’ defense has been generous since the start of 2022. Look for the Suns to capitalize. At the same time, LA has scored at least 104 points in each of their first three games of the year. Looking for the total to hit the Over (219) here.