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Phoenix vs. LA Clippers,
01/02/2017 22:30 EDT,
Score: 98 - 109
Point Spread: -5½/-110 LA Clippers
8* LA Clippers (10:35 ET): Though potentially undermanned (we know they'll be w/o Blake Griffin), I still think that the Clippers will have enough horses to get by the woeful Suns. Phoenix has actually covered B2B games, winning one of them, a surprising upset of Toronto as 8.5-pt underdogs. But that game was also at home and the Raptors were in the second night of a back to back after playing the Warriors. On the road, the Suns are just 4-15 SU and giving up a rather unsightly 114.7 points per game. They did manage to stay within the number at Utah Saturday night, which I did not like (had the Jazz), despite scoring only 86 points. The Clips will be desperate to snap a six-game slide here though and I'll lay the points.
Chris Paul is listed as questionable for tonight due to his ongoing hamstring issue. DeAndre Jordan is probable despite a hip injury. Whether both, one or neither plays, this selections remains valid. I realize that the Clippers have lost to Dallas, the Lakers, Denver and New Orleans during this six-game losing streak of theirs. But this matchup certainly offers a reprieve after playing at Oklahoma City and Houston. The Rockets torched their once mighty defense for 140 points on Friday and then a night later the Thunder scored 114. But winning a shootout here is likely given the Suns' own defensive ineptitude. Phoenix has allowed only 91 pts in B2B games, the primary reason they're 2-0 ATS in those games, but note that previously they had allowed fewer than 100 points only three times ALL SEASON!
The upcoming schedule should permit a Clippers' turnaround as they'll be playing all games in the state of California the next three weeks. Remember, there was a time when the Clips were playing better than every other team in the league. Given the potential personnel differences, it's likely worthless to cite LA's 116-98 win over Phoenix early in the season here at Staples Center. But they have won the last five home games against the Suns. HC Doc Rivers should be able to create a sense of urgency here that whomever he has in the lineup, should respond in kind. The Suns are just not a very good team. 8* LA Clippers