OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (32-9)
at LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (32-10)
Tip-off: Tuesday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Oklahoma City -1, Total: 200
Both the Thunder and the Clippers are looking to get back on track with a win in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
The Thunder had won six straight (4-1-1 ATS) before a close overtime loss in Denver on Sunday, 121-118. Los Angeles was riding a four-game winning streak (3-1 AST), but that ended on Monday night at Golden State in a 106-99 defeat. Oklahoma City won the first matchup this season, 117-111 on Nov. 21, but it has lost each of its past four trips to L.A. by an average of 12.0 PPG. Both star PGs Russell Westbrook (ankle) and Chris Paul (knee) are dealing with injuries, but they are both expected to start on Tuesday night.
Who will win this marquee matchup on Tuesday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Scott is 3-0-1 ATS in his past three days to boost his season Best Bets mark to 53.2% ATS (58-51-1). StatFox Brian is at 52% ATS (64-60-3) while StatFox Gary is winning 51% ATS (50-49-4) for the season. The four experts are collectively 50% ATS (250-250-13) on Best Bets for the season. For NBA Totals, Scott is 8-2 in the past seven days, boosting his impressive season NBA Totals record to 61-42 (59%). Brian has gone 7-3 in NBA Totals since Jan. 13.
The Thunder continue to light up the scoreboard with an NBA-high 106.0 PPG this season. The reigning scoring champion, SF Kevin Durant (league-high 29.5 PPG), has been on an absolute tear over the past few games. Against Dallas on Friday, he scored a career-high 52 points, then drained 37 points on Sunday to give him 36.6 PPG (47% FG, 95% FT), 5.4 RPG, 4.2 APG and 1.8 SPG in his past five games. He also scored 35 points (7-of-19 FG, 19-of-21 FG) in the win over the Clippers on Nov. 21, giving him 27.6 PPG in 19 career games in this series. While Durant has been dominant, it hasnít stopped Westbrook from doing the same. Even though he missed a portion of Sunday's game with an ankle injury, Westbrook still scored 36 points against the Nuggets to go along with nine assists, eight rebounds, but also seven turnovers. Over the past five contests, he is averaging 30.6 PPG, 6.6 APG and 6.4 RPG. In addition to this dynamic duo, PF Serge Ibaka (14.0 PPG) continues to be a force in the paint on both ends (8.4 RPG, 2.8 BPG), while SG Kevin Martin (15.0 PPG) provides the long-range shooting with an impressive 43.1% clip from downtown this season. Martin scored 20 points in the November win over the Clippers.
L.A. PF Blake Griffin is coming off a great game statistically Monday night with 26 points (11-of-18 FG), 13 rebounds, eight assists, three steals and two blocks. The unfortunate part is it came in a 106-99 loss to the Warriors on the road, and he may be tired playing less than 24 hours after logging 41 minutes. Since returning from a knee injury, PG Chris Paul is averaging 13.0 PPG, 10.0 APG and 1.5 SPG. He took only seven shots against the Warriors, but found other ways to help his team in the losing effort with nine assists and just two turnovers. SG Jamal Crawford had a horrible shooting night in Saturday's win over Washington (3-of-13 FG, 0-for-4 threes), but he bounced back with a huge game on Monday with 24 points on 9-of-18 FG and 6-of-11 threes. He has 19.8 PPG in his past five games, thanks in big part to his to 48% 3-pt FG clip (14-of-29). SF Lamar Odom continues to struggle with his shooting (37% FG on the season), but heís been doing the little things consistently. Over the past five games, Odom is averaging 9.6 RPG and 3.2 APG. He is an excellent player off the bench and when he finds his stroke, this Clippers team will only get better.