The LA Clippers return home on Sunday from their final road trip as they prepare for the last week of the regular season by squaring off against the trailing Pelicans.

Game Information

Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA

When: 6:30 p.m PST

How to Watch: Bally Sports SoCal, NBA TV

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: Reggie Jackson – Paul George – Nicolas Batum – Marcus Morris Sr. – Ivica Zubac

Pelicans: C.J McCollum – Herbert Jones – Brandon Ingram – Jaxon Hayes – Jonas Valanciunas

Injury Report

Clippers: Kawhi Leonard out (right knee), Norman Powell out (left foot), Jason Preston out (right foot), Jay Scrubb (right foot).

Pelicans: Zion Williamson out (right foot), Kira Lewis out (right knee), Jared Harper (G League Assignment).

The Big Picture

The LA Clippers received a huge boost this week with the return of Paul George. He played two games against the Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls before sitting out the second night of a back to back against the Milwaukee Bucks. In both the Jazz and Bulls games, it was clear how much the Clippers have needed him. His impact on both ends of the floor is a game-changer.

This is a completely different team with George back in the lineup. Even without Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers are a very dangerous team with one of their stars playing. There is also a strong possibility that Norman Powell makes his return sometime this week as well.

The Clippers are essentially locked in to the eighth seed in the Western Conference, but it’s still not a given. The last test remains against the visiting New Orleans Pelicans. Win this game, and the focus for them for the rest of the week becomes cleaning up some of the little things, making sure everyone is healthy, and getting ready for the play-in tournament.

The Antagonist

The New Orleans Pelicans come into the game behind the Clippers and essentially locked into the ninth seed in the West. They pretty much sealed their spot with a huge road win over the LA Lakers on Friday. The win also greatly increased the odds that the San Antonio Spurs will be the tenth seed and the Pelicans opponent in the play-in tournament.

There is still an outside chance that the Pelicans sneak in and grab the eighth spot, however, and that’s what makes this game a big one. The Pelicans sure were up to the challenge in their two recent meetings with the Lakers, so you know they’ll come into the Clipper game brimming with confidence.

This team has really turned things around since starting the season 1-12, and like the Clippers, they’ve been doing this without their injured star, Zion Williamson, all season. While it’s tough to envision a team with a losing record and fighting for a playoff spot to get the Coach of the Year Award, Willie Green does have to be commended for the turnaround job he’s done with this group.

A Clippers win on Sunday solidifies their eighth place finish. A Pelicans win? Things could get very interesting in the final days of the regular season.

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