We have six games on tap for Wednesday’s NBA slate after Tuesday’s 12-game extravaganza. For the second consecutive night, the Phoenix Suns will do battle with a team based out of Los Angeles.
With nothing left to play for, it’ll be interesting to see how Suns head coach Monty Williams approaches tonight’s game. The Clippers, who have also clinched the No. 8 seed in the play-in tourney, also have no reason to go all-out in this one.
Clearly, the Suns went into Tuesday’s game against the Lakers laser-focused on the task at hand. Motivation wasn’t an issue for a Suns team just a few weeks after Anthony Davis said the Lakers would have beaten Phoenix in the 2021 playoffs had they stayed healthy.
On Tuesday, Phoenix left no doubt as to which team is the superior one these days. The Suns used a massive third-quarter run to put the game on ice early. The Lakers mounted a brief charge in the fourth, but ultimately fell well short. Williams didn’t have to rely on any of his starters to play in the fourth quarter as Phoenix led by 18 points entering the game’s final frame.
The Suns have already clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, even the NBA Finals if they’re lucky enough to make it to the championship round for the second straight season.
Let’s not forget that Chris Paul hasn’t necessarily been a beacon of health over the years. CP3 recently returned from a fractured thumb, so I’d be surprised if the former Clipper actually suited up in this one.
Los Angeles Clippers
Health has been a major storyline of the Clippers’ season, as well. Or lack thereof. Ty Lue has done an excellent job in getting this team to where it is. LA is only 39-40 on the year, but that record is a bit more impressive when you remember they’ve been playing without both of their superstars for the vast majority of the season.
Whether Kawhi Leonard plays at all this season is still uncertain. Leonard tore his ACL in last year’s playoffs, and the Clippers have given no firm timetable for his return to the floor. It’s not impossible to think he could come back at some point this postseason, but the Clips will likely take a cautious approach with their franchise centerpiece.
Paul George, who returned just last week after an elbow injury sidelined him for three months, has been playing his way back into shape. Norman Powell, who broke his foot just three games after arriving in a deadline deal from Portland, should be back for the playoffs. Powell, who practiced on Tuesday, is officially doubtful to make that return tonight at home against the Suns.
The Clips are just 1-2 against their Pacific Division rivals so far this season. Their lone victory over Phoenix was a 111-95 triumph at home back on December 13. The Suns bounced back with double-digit wins in Phoenix over the CLippers in January and February, however.
The Clippers are 38-40-1 against the spread so far this season. The Suns are 40-37-0 ATS. LAC is also just 12-14 against the spread so far this season as a home favorite, while Phoenix is an impressive 7-3 ATS in 10 games as a road underdog.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers NBA Game Pick
As of this writing, we have no official injury news when it comes to the Suns. Teams on the second halves of back-to-backs don’t have to submit injury reports until 1:30 pm local time on gameday.
The Clippers don’t have much to play for, either, but I do expect Lue to play his normal rotations tonight. That alone should be enough to make the Clips a smart bet to win and cover the small 2.5-point spread at home. The Suns have enough quality depth to make this a game, but I think the spread will widen once the Suns’ injury report comes in. Take the Clippers -2.5.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers Betting Recap
- Moneyline: Suns +120, Clippers -140
- Point Spread: Suns +2.5 (-110), Clippers -2.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 226 points (-110), Under 226 points (-110)
- Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -2.5 (-110)