NEW YORK KNICKS (38-25)
at LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (45-21)
Tip-off: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Line: Los Angeles -12.5, Total: 195
The injury-riddled Knicks are still searching for their first win on their long trip when they visit the up-and-down Clippers on Sunday afternoon.
New York is 0-3 (SU and ATS) so far on this five-game road trip and has been blasted in all three defeats, falling by 29 points at Golden State, losing by 23 at Denver and suffering a 15-point loss at Portland on Thursday. This team certainly will benefit from having two days off, which could allow SF Carmelo Anthony (27.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG) and C Tyson Chandler (10.7 PPG, 11.0 RPG), who both missed Thursday's game with knee injuries, to suit up. Both players are considered questionable for this game. New York is 8-5 SU (7-6 ATS) with at least two days of rest this season. Los Angeles has alternated wins and losses in all six games in March, losing 96-85 at home to Memphis in its last game on Wednesday. They have also alternated wins and losses in the past four meetings with the Knicks, beating them 102-88 at Madison Square Garden in their lone meeting this season on Feb. 10. The Clippers are 25-8 SU (20-13 ATS, 61%) at Staples Center this season, while New York is now 15-15 SU (13-16-1 ATS, 45%) on the road.
Can the Knicks end their losing skid on Sunday? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. All four experts remain sizzling in NBA Best Bets. StatFox Gary is 68% ATS (15-7) in March and 70% ATS (23-10) since Feb. 20, StatFox Brian is 65.4% ATS (17-9) since Feb. 28, StatFox Dave is 55% ATS (11-9) since March 2, and StatFox Scott is 55% ATS (36-30) since Feb. 3. The experts are a collective 56% ATS (142-114) since February began, and Scott is now 54% ATS (106-91-1) for the season, while Gary is also 54% ATS (86-74-4) and Brian is 52% ATS (106-98-3). For NBA Totals, Gary is a stellar 83% (10-2) since March 7, Brian is 67% (4-2) in his past five days, and Scott is 61% (14-9-1) since Feb. 22 to raise his season record to 56.3% (90-70-1) in Totals.
The Knicks average 99.1 PPG this season, which trails only Miami among Eastern Conference teams. They don't shoot for a high percentage (44.0% FG), because they jack up more threes than anybody in the league (29.1 per game), converting 36.7% of those long-range attempts. New York also plays solid defense, allowing 96.2 PPG on 45.8% FG and 36.6% threes. With Anthony and Chandler out of Thursday's lineup, SG J.R. Smith (16.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG) took it upon himself to be the main scorer, pumping in 33 points on 11-of-21 FG (4-of-8 threes) off the bench. PF Kenyon Martin (5.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG) and PG Raymond Felton (14.5 PPG, 5.7 APG) were the other double-digit scorers with 12 and 11 points, respectively, but the duo also posted a combined rating of minus-41. When the Knicks faced the Clippers earlier this season it was Anthony who poured in 42 points (14-of-26 FG) and eight boards, while pulling down eight rebounds. Felton also played well despite being guarded by Chris Paul, contributing 20 points and five assists. But Smith was horrible in that game, scoring just six points on 1-of-9 FG and posting a minus-18 rating.
The Clippers place among the top teams in the NBA in both scoring (100.9 PPG) and defense (94.4 PPG allowed). The team has a strong 1.59 Ast/TO ratio and outrebounds its opponents by a +2.2 RPG margin. L.A. continues to be paced by the dynamic pair of PG Chris Paul (16.6 PPG, 9.6 APG) and PF Blake Griffin (18.7 PPG, 8.6 RPG). The duo burned the Knicks in Manhattan last month as Paul went for 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds, while Griffin posted 17 points, 12 boards (6 offensive), four assists and two steals. Paul has always played well against New York, averaging 21.6 PPG (48% FG, 49% threes) and 10.0 APG in 12 career meetings. The Clippers reserves were just as important against New York last month, posting a combined +78 rating. SG Jamal Crawford (16.9 PPG) exploded on the Knicks for 27 points (12-of-22 FG), while PG Eric Bledsoe (9.0 PPG, 3.2 APG) was a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor and finished with 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and three blocks. But Bledsoe has missed the past two games with a calf injury and his doubtful to suit up on Sunday as well.