LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (20-9)
at GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (16-13)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. ET
Line: Golden State -2, Total: 207.5
Two of the top offenses clash in Oakland on Christmas night when the Clippers travel up the coast to take on the Warriors.
Los Angeles has established itself as one of the top teams in the West this season and is coming off a hard-fought, overtime win against the Timberwolves on Sunday. They won 120-116 in that contest, overcoming Kevin Love’s 45-point performance as PG Chris Paul scored nine of his 19 points in the overtime period. The Clippers are currently riding a five-game winning streak (4-1 ATS) coming into this one. Golden State is struggling to move up the Western Conference rankings with its inconsistent play on the defensive side of the ball. The Warriors are grouped with a handful of teams that will likely all be clawing for a postseason berth as the season moves along. The Clippers have gone 8-7 SU (9-6 ATS) on the road this year and started out the month of December with a 7-game road trip in which they were 4-3 (both SU and ATS). The Warriors have not bee great at home, going 9-4 SU, but managing only a 5-7 ATS record. These two teams met on Halloween this season and put on a show in L.A. as the Clippers defeated the Warriors 126-115 while covering the 6-point spread. Both teams shot exceptionally well (53% FG and 49% FG), but Golden State lost the rebounding battle (44-33) and turned the ball over six more times (24-18). These teams have split the past 10 matchups (5-5 SU), but the Warriors are 7-3 ATS during this stretch that has seen the Over go 8-2, including six straight games. SG J.J. Redick (hand) is still expected to miss 3-to-5 more weeks for the Clippers while C Jermaine O’Neal (wrist) has no timetable for his return to the court for Golden State.
Which high-scoring offense will outscore their opponent on Wednesday night? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The five experts are absolutely sizzling on NBA Best Bets in December, going 67% ATS (47-23) including 21-2 ATS (91%) since Dec. 16. During the month, StatFox Zach has an astronomical 93% ATS mark (13-1) and is currently 62% ATS (24-15) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Dave has an excellent 81% ATS (13-3) Best Bets record in December and is 58% ATS (23-17) on Best Bets for the season. Since Dec. 16, StatFox Gary is 4-0 ATS, while both StatFox Brian and StatFox Scott are 3-1 ATS
The Clippers are near the top of the league offensively thanks to their 105.1 PPG and 23.7 APG. Even with their high-octane offense, Los Angeles has allowed a solid 99.1 PPG to their opponents and has held teams below 100 points in four of their past five games. PG Chris Paul (19.2 PPG, 11.3 APG, 2.4 SPG) is the top assist man in the league and is currently ranked third in steals. Paul had an absolute beast of a game in the Oct. 31 matchup, netting a season-high 42 points (12-of-20 FG) while dishing out 15 assists and stealing six balls. He has had his best offensive performances over his career when facing the Warriors, as his 23.6 PPG (52.1% FG) over 27 games is his best against any team. He has also added 9.9 APG and 2.3 SPG in that time. PF Blake Griffin (20.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG) is coming off a big game against the Timberwolves (32 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals) and also had a good game last time these two teams played (23 points, 10 rebounds, +18 rating). He has averaged a double-double (21.8 PPG, 10.4 RPG) over 13 career contests facing Golden State. SG Jamal Crawford (16.7 PPG) has been the starter at shooting guard over the past five games and has played 36.8 MPG while scoring 20.0 PPG in that time. He scored 25.0 PPG (48.1% FG) in three games off the bench last season and tallied 17 points against the Warriors earlier this year. C DeAndre Jordan (9.6 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 2.2 BPG) remains one of the top defenders and rebounders in the league and has shot a blistering 74.6% from the floor over 12 December games. He had nine points to go along with 17 rebounds and two steals in the first meeting of this series, but was only 3-for-12 from the foul line line against Golden State.
The Warriors have the capability to be a top offensive team but rely on their three-point shooting to do so, and a cold spell could mean a loss as their defense is inconsistent. PG Stephen Curry is once again a top three-point shooter in the league and he hit 9-of-14 (64.3% 3FG) threes and totaled 38 points and nine assists (but also 11 turnovers) against the Clippers this season. Overall, Curry has scored 19.5 PPG (48.2% FG) while adding 5.8 APG and making 50 three-pointers (49.5% 3-pt FG) in just 16 career games against them. PF David Lee is once again a double-double machine, but did not have one the first time these teams met, contributing 22 points and five rebounds). Last season, he did average a double-double (13.5 PPG, 10.3 RPG) in four games in this series, and has nearly done so in 21 career games (16 starts) against them (15.1 PPG, 9.6 RPG). SF Andre Iguodala had 14 points and 11 assists while adding two steals against the Clippers on Oct. 31, and has played quality basketball in 19 career games against them, averaging 14.4 PPG (43.3% FG), 5.9 APG, 5.5 RPG and being a pest on defense (1.6 SPG). SG Klay Thompson is the other “Splash Brother” next to Curry but is by no means as good of an all-around player and is more of a spot-up shooter than anything else. His nine career games (6 starts) against L.A. mirror that, as he has scored 13.3 PPG and made 21-of-46 (45.7%) of his threes in that time while scoring only 10 points against them in the game on Halloween.