3E – Milwaukee Bucks (29-16, 11-9) at 3W – LA Clippers (31-16, 16-6 home)
- Time: 7 PST – 9 CST – 10 EST
- Place: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
- TV: FSN Wisconsin, Prime Ticket, NBA TV
Losses over the weekend to the Knicks and Celtics halted Milwaukee’s eight-game winning streak as the Bucks’ roster was depleted Saturday due to injuries. Tonight’s encounter with the Clippers opens a six-game west coast swing for Milwaukee as the Bucks are 2.5 games off of first-place Philadelphia in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
The Clippers are fighting the Western Conference leading Utah Jazz and the Pacific Division leading Phoenix Suns as they stand four games back of the Jazz and one back of the Suns. LA is on it’s second game of a nine-game home stretch that ends on April 11.
Los Angeles has won five in a row and six of it’s last seven.
Milwaukee leads this series, 68-52, and has won the last four in the series, including a 110-105 decision at home on Feb. 28.
- Milwaukee – P.J. Tucker – (ankle) Donte DiVincenzo (foot) Jrue Holiday (knee) – Khris Middleton (hip) – Bobby Portis (health and safety protocols) – all day to day
- LA Clippers – Patrick Beverly (knee) – Serge Ibaka (back) – day to day
Vs. The Spread:
- Milwaukee is 1-5 ATS in it’s last 6 games
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Milwaukee’s last 5 games
- The Bucks are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games
- LA is 5-0 ATS in it’s last 5 games
- The Clippers are 17-3 SU in their last 20 home games vs. the Bucks
- The Clips are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games
Last Time Out
The Bucks suffered through Saturday night’s 102-96 loss to the New York Knicks without Giannis Antetokounmpo and three other injured starters as Giannis’s brother Thanasis led Milwaukee with 23 points and Jordan Nwora added 21. Brook Lopez tied this game at 96-96 with a dunk with 1:35 to play, but Milwaukee was unable to score again.
Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points and Terance Mann added a season-high 23 as the Clippers defeated Philadelphia, 122-112, in Doc Rivers’ first game back in Los Angeles. The Clips led by five at halftime, 97-84 after three and by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter before taking the win.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Milwaukee Bucks||+2½ (-110)||+116||O 232 (-110)|
|Los Angeles Clippers||-2½ (-110)||-136||U 232 (-110)|
The Bucks’ injury-riddled roster is almost all day-to-day, so coach Mike Budenholzer could throw out any combination in tonight’s game. When healthy, Milwaukee throws out the top scoring team in the NBA at 119.3 points per game and they also lead the league with 48.6 rebounds per game. Of course, Giannis is prime in those stats as the all-star leads Milwaukee with 28.3 points and 11.5 boards per contest. He was not listed on the early injury report for this game.
Key Bucks Stat:
Khris Middleton had been in a consistent rhythm before he was sidelined with an injury before Saturday’s loss to the Knicks. He had averaged 23.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists over his last four games. He made 54 percent of this field goals and 68 percent of his threes over those four games.
Obviously, the Bucks are looking for several of those players back in the line up tonight, but seeing Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Jordan Nwora have career games as rookies can give the Bucks hopes of formulating more depth. Thanasis had a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds while dishing five assists. Nwora made his first career start and posted 21 points and 10 boards for his first career double-double.
Advantage, LA Clippers:
Los Angeles boasts the league’s top three-point game at 41.6 percent as Paul George leads with 115 makes; however, Marcus Morris makes 46.2 percent on the season. Bringing in Rajon Rondo at the trade deadline will solidify the point until Patrick Beverly is 100 percent and then the Clips will have the depth there to contend at an even higher level. The Clippers defend the three at a high level as well as opponents shoot 36.3 percent. During the five-game winning streak, opponents have made only 35.3 percent of their triples. Kawhi Leonard has averaged 26 points per game in his last three and has made 26-of-43 field goals.
Key Clippers Stat:
The defense has been at an even higher level in the last seven games as the Clippers have gone 6-1 in those. The plus-minus differential has been at 12.3, the most over that period as they have been fifth in defensive rating at 107.1 and first in net rating at 12.3.
The depth of this team may be one of the three biggest reasons why it can go to the NBA FInals as the bench leads the NBA from three at 42.3 percent while it is fifth at 47.3 percent. Coach Ty Lue has seen his bench account for a paltry 40.5 points per game. Reggie Jackson continues to be a stalwart with 9.2 points and 2.9 assists on the season although he has started 24 games and Marcus Morris (12.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg) gives LA a huge lift with the three-point game and rebounding.
Winner: Clippers (-2½) 117, Bucks 110