The Los Angeles Clippers (37-18) will try for a sixth-straight win when they take on the Indiana Pacers (25-27) to kick off Tuesday night on TNT. The Pacers have won four of their last five games.
The Clippers are a 2-point favorite at most NBA sportsbooks, but they will continue to be without three starters in Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, and Patrick Beverley. Can the Pacers pull off the upset at home? They are just 9-15 on their own court this season.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Indiana Paces
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 – 07:30 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Clippers: All Eyes on Paul George
While the Clippers are down three starters, they still have Paul George, who is shooting a career-high 47.7% from the field and 43.8% from three this season, his second with Los Angeles. The 30-year-old George is also averaging a career-high 5.4 assists per game.
George should love to have a big game in Indiana, his home for his first seven NBA seasons. When these teams met on January 17, George efficiently scored 20 points in an easy 129-96 win for the Clippers, one of the team’s most lopsided games of the season. Last season in the only game George played against the Pacers, he scored 36 points in an 11-point win.
George is on a hot streak right now, scoring at least 32 points in three straight games while shooting 56.5% from the field. He is more than capable of leading this shorthanded team to a road win.
The Clippers have some experience at playing without Leonard this season. They are 6-4 in the games he missed and that includes three double-digit wins. The Clippers rank No. 2 in Net Rating and are the only offense shooting better than 40% from three-point territory this season. In just the month of April, the Clippers have the best Offensive Rating (122.8), eFG% (60.2%), and rank No. 3 in rebound percentage (52.4%).
While the Pistons were not strong competition on Sunday, the Clippers shot a season-best 62.5% from the field despite not having those three starters. Indiana will be a bigger challenge, but the Clippers are playing well and have more than enough talent to get the cover here.
Pacers: Better Bring the Offense
The Clippers have shot 50% or better from the field in four straight games and are 27-2 when scoring more than 115 points this season. Indiana has been a middling team this season, but recent success has come on the offensive side of the ball, which needs to continue in this tough matchup.
Over the last five games, the 4-1 Pacers rank No. 6 in Offensive Rating and No. 24 in Defensive Rating. The Pacers have scored over 130 points three times in April alone, or as many times as they did in the first 46 games this season.
While the Clippers are coming off “soft wins” over the Rockets and Pistons, Indiana’s recent competition has not been that much more impressive. The Pacers’ three-game winning streak has been against Minnesota (14-40), Orlando (17-37), and Memphis (27-25). Each game was decided by 4-to-7 points.
The Pacers are 18-0 this season when outshooting the opponent by at least 3.0 percentage points. However, unlike the Clippers and their lethal three-point shooting, the mediocre Pacers, one of the league’s worst rebounding teams (27th in rebound percentage), can rarely overcome a lesser shooting night. When these teams shoot a lower FG% than their opponent, the Clippers are 7-12 (.368) and the Pacers are 4-24 (.143) this season.
Domantas Sabonis has had an interesting couple of weeks. He is only averaging 12.8 points per game in his last four games and was inactive with an injury for three games as well. Caris LeVert led the way with 34 points against Memphis on Sunday, but interestingly enough, his three highest-scoring games this season are all against the Grizzlies.
We have another example in the NBA this season of a top-tier team playing without its best player, but I trust George to help the most efficient offense in the league to a road win in Indiana. The Pacers only cover 40.4% of the time, the second-worst rate in the NBA. Indiana is 7-17 ATS at home, the second-worst record this year.
Finally, all 37 of Los Angeles’ wins this season have been by at least three points. They won’t win by 33 this time, but with a spread this small, I really like the Clippers to cover for my NBA picks on Tuesday night.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.