The LA Clippers look to continue their momentum and extend their current three-game win streak as the Golden State Warriors come to town.
Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
When: 7 PM PT
How to Watch: Clippervision, Bally Sports SoCal, ESPN
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Russell Westbrook – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Marcus Morris Sr. – Ivica Zubac
Warriors: Stephen Curry – Donte DiVicenzo – Klay Thompson – Draymond Green – Kevon Looney
Clippers: Norman Powell out (left shoulder), Brandon Boston Jr. out (tailbone), Jason Preston (G League Assignment), Moussa Diabate (G League Assignment), Xavier Moon (G League Assignment).
Warriors: Andre Iguodala out, Andrew Wiggins out, Ryan Rollins out, Gary Payton II out, Jonathan Kuminga probable.
The Big Picture
After a rough post All-Star break stretch during which the Clippers saw themselves buried in a five-game losing streak and immersed in the sky is falling takes, they’ve rebounded and managed to put together three wins in a row. Although a top four finish and home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs is still possible, the Clippers are going to need some help from other teams to move back up in the standings.
Tyronn Lue’s penchant for tinkering with lineups has continued as he’s looked to find some kind of winning combination. One of the key moves has been the benching of Marcus Morris late in games. Morris seems firmly entrenched in his starting role, and there are certainly benefits to that especially playing alongside the other starters. But Lue has opted to go with Terance Mann, Eric Gordon, and Nicolas Batum over Morris during this recent win streak.
Another major change has been no Russell Westbrook in the closing quarters in favor of the above mentioned players as well. Westbrook has been mostly solid since signing with the Clippers. And he’s been incredibly upbeat and full of life despite a fluctuating role, something that he did not always display with the Los Angeles Lakers in similar situation.
With the Western Conference standings as tight as they’ve ever been this season and only a handful of games left to go in the regular season, every game is of huge importance, every game is magnified. The Clippers really can’t afford a loss right now no matter who is in front of them on the schedule. They did that to themselves though with too much inconsistent play.
The Golden State Warriors come to town in a similar situation as the Clippers. They have identical records right now at 36-33, with the Warriors currently ahead of the 6th ranked Clippers at 5 due to having the tie breaker in head-to-head matchups having won two out their three meetings so far.
This will be the final meeting between these two teams in the regular season and it’s a big one. A win would move the Clippers into fifth place in the standings, give them a tie in the head-to-head matchups, and put them only half a game behind the Phoenix Suns for the fourth seed.
The Warriors are vulnerable too. These are not the juggernaut Warriors of old. This team has struggled mightily on the road and is currently on an eight-game road losing streak. They have also been without Andrew Wiggins, who is away from the team due to personal reasons. Wiggins has been a crucial part of the team as a wing scorer and defender.
This team can still score as they are near the top half of the league in points per game (2nd) and offensive rating (12th). They aren’t as good defensively however (24th in opponents points per game, 16th in defensive rating).
This is a game the Clippers need to have and it will be a good test to see where this team is at after seemingly getting the wheels back on track.