Clippers Need Win Over Spurs to Keep Slim Playoff Hopes Alive

spurs clippers

Matthew Jordan

Monday, April 2, 2018 4:40 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 2, 2018 4:40 PM GMT

Huge game in the Western Conference playoff chase Tuesday night as San Antonio visits the L.A. Clippers in a nationally televised (10:30, TNT) matchup.

San Antonio (45-32, 41-34-2 ATS) at LA Clippers (41-36, 41-35-1 ATS)Free NBA Pick: SpursBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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After the NBA went dark on Monday in deference to the NCAA national championship game, it’s one of the busiest Tuesdays of the season as 26 of the league’s 30 teams are in action as the final two-week sprint to conclude the year commences. The latest tip is 10:30 p.m. ET from Staples Center in L.A. as the Clippers and Spurs square off for the final time this season. Very big for both teams regarding the playoffs – more so Los Angeles.

San Antonio leads the season series 2-0, but both of those were played back in the 2017 portion of the schedule and when Blake Griffin was still a Clipper. On Nov. 7 at the Alamodome, the Spurs won 120-107 behind 25 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, 24 from Danny Green and 22 from Pau Gasol. It was the first time the Spurs had three players not named one of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili or Kawhi Leonard since 1997. They made 15 3-pointers (on 28 attempts), had 33 assists and 12 steals. Austin Rivers led the Clippers with 24 points, while Griffin had only 15.

On Dec. 18 also in San Antonio, the Spurs rolled 109-91. Aldridge had 19 points and Kawhi Leonard was on the court for a very rare time this season and finished with seven points in 16 minutes. No Clipper had more than 13 points. Griffin, Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari were all out injured.

The underdog has covered 19 of the past 28 in this series.

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Solid team effort for this afternoon's win #GoSpursGo

⬇️Highlights⬇️ pic.twitter.com/1RKlJYLCFY

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 1, 2018
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Spurs Looking Good … Clips Not So Much

The Spurs haven’t clinched a playoff berth yet but should get in barring losing all five remaining games – and they still might if that happened. They currently sit fourth in the West but just a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City for home-court advantage in the first round of the postseason. The Spurs’ remaining schedule is: Wednesday at Lakers, Saturday vs. Trail Blazers, April 9 vs. Kings, and April 11 at Pelicans.

It’s now pretty apparent that Leonard isn’t coming back this season. He has left the team again to continue injury rehab in New York with his own group of doctors. Something really fishy is going on here. Again, San Antonio’s medical staff has cleared Leonard to return from right quadriceps tendinopathy, but Leonard’s personal doctors apparently haven’t. Over the weekend, Gregg Popovich said he was unsure when the star forward and "his group" will clear him to play. There’s clearly a disconnect going on between Leonard and the team/coach. The Spurs might be forced to trade Leonard this offseason before he hits free agency in the summer of 2019 if things are this bad.

San Antonio comes off an impressive 100-83 home win over Houston on Sunday, holding the Rockets to a season low in points and ending their 11-game winning streak. Not sure, though, how much the Rockets cared as they already have clinched the NBA’s best record and didn’t play Chris Paul. San Antonio now has at least 45 wins in 19 straight seasons, the longest streak in league history. It would have to win out to continue its incredible streak of 50-win seasons.

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Final📊
Tobias: 21p/4r/7a/1s/1b
Lou: 20p/2r/3a/2s
Trezz: 19p/3r/2a
Austin: 18p/3r/7a/2s/1b
Tyrone: 9p/4r/2a/1s/1b
DJ: 8p/12r
Danilo: 7p/6r/1a/3b
Sin: 2p/2r/2a

📸 https://t.co/YSFa97keVJ
🎥 https://t.co/Yf72aAGrK8#ItTakesEverything pic.twitter.com/QFRUxKvaZ0

— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) April 1, 2018
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The Clippers lost their second straight Sunday, 111-104 at home to Indiana. L.A. is 10th in the West, a game behind No. 9 Denver and two back of No. 8 New Orleans. Thus, the Clippers at a minimum likely have to win out to get in the playoffs and I’m not sure even that will do it. They close at the Jazz (Thursday), vs. Nuggets (Saturday), vs. Pelicans (April 9) and vs. Lakers (April 11). Not sure I see L.A. winning in Salt Lake City. DeAndre Jordan is playing through a bum ankle and Gallinari a bad hand. They both likely will be shut down when/if the Clippers are eliminated. These could be the final days in a Clipper uniform for Jordan, a soon-to-be free agent.

The Spurs have covered six straight against Western Conference teams, while the Clippers are just 4-10 ATS in their past 14 at home. Take San Antonio for a Tuesday NBA pick. Hey, maybe Leonard will play! And, hey, maybe Elle Macpherson will ask me out.

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