After dropping their last game to the Pelicans, Wednesday’s primetime matchup is more important that ever for the Clippers (43-20) in the quest for the No. 2 seed in the West.
Where: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
When: 7 p.m. PT
How to Watch: ESPN, Bally Sports SoCal, AM 570 L.A. Sports, 1330 AM Tu Liga
Projected Starting Lineups:
L.A. Clippers: Reggie Jackson – Terrance Mann – Paul George – Marcus Morris Sr. – Ivica Zubac
Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul – Devin Booker – Torrey Craig – Mikal Bridges– Deandre Ayton
L.A. Clippers: Patrick Beverley – OUT (Left Hand Fourth Metacarpal Fracture), Serge Ibaka – OUT (Lower Back Tightness), Kawhi Leonard – DOUBTFUL (Right Foot Soreness), Amir Coffey – QUESTIONABLE (Bruised Tailbone), Nicolas Batum – QUESTIONABLE (Shoulder)
Phoenix Suns: Dario Saric – QUESTIONABLE (Left Ankle), Jae Crowder – OUT (Ankle), Abdel Nader – OUT (Right Knee)
The Big Picture
With less than 10 games remaining in the regular season, the playoff picture is shaping up. The seven through 10 seeds in each conference remain up for grabs. But perhaps the most intriguing battle remains at the top of the West.
No. 1 Seed: Jazz (44-17) — 11 games remaining
No. 2 Seed: Suns (43-18) — 11 games remaining, one game behind
No. 3 Seed: Clippers (43-20) — nine games remaining, two games behind
After a perfect 8-0 run in last year’s NBA playoff bubble, the Phoenix Suns made a decisive move, acquiring Chris Paul from the Thunder. In adding the veteran point guard, the organization not only added much-needed leadership and juice to a potential playoff team, but created a powerhouse with shades of a championship contender.
One of the league’s healthiest teams, the Suns boast both a top-10 offense and defense. Paul and Booker set the pace (one of the league’s slowest), often finishing teams off with crucial buckets down the stretch of close games. Surrounding them are young 3-and-D wings in Bridges and Cameron Johnson and an improving presence down low in former No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton.
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