The first game of a TNT NBA nationally televised doubleheader on Tuesday features the Los Angeles Clippers visiting the Boston Celtics. Which way to lean at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks?
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston Celtics
Tuesday, March 02, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at TD Garden
TNT has the national TV doubleheader on Tuesday per usual this week with Clippers at Celtics the first tip, followed by Suns at Lakers at 10 p.m. ET – SBR will have a preview of that as well. It’s the penultimate game for both the Clippers and Celtics before the All-Star break. Los Angeles visits Washington on Thursday and Boston hosts Toronto that same night – although that might be postponed as the Raptors are dealing with a COVID outbreak.
This will wrap up the season series between these teams, although I suppose it’s possible they could meet in the NBA Finals. The Clippers are definitely good enough to get there and are +300 second-favorites on the NBA futures odds at Bovada to win the Western Conference. I don’t believe Boston is good enough to get out of the East as currently constructed. The Celtics are +1100 fourth favorites there.
On Feb. 5, the Clippers were 5.5-point home favorites on the NBA odds vs. visiting Boston, which pulled off a 119-115 upset. Los Angeles got 28 points and 11 rebounds from Kawhi Leonard but was without Paul George and Patrick Beverley due to injury. The Clips led by one point with 46 seconds left, but Boston closed the game with six straight free throws. Jayson Tatum had 34 points and Kemba Walker 24 for the Celtics, who didn’t have Jaylen Brown. Boston is 90-43 SU all time vs. the Clippers and 44-27 and 46-16 as the home team in the series. L.A. is 8-3 ATS on the NBA picks in its past 11 in Boston.
Clippers Might Be Tiring Ahead Of Break
The Clippers are fading a bit as they try to stay close with the Utah Jazz for the best record in the Western Conference. Los Angeles has alternated wins and losses over its past eight and lost a terrific game at Milwaukee on Sunday 105-100 to fall to 1-2 on a five-game road trip.
The Bucks closed the game on a 9-0 run; they had been 0-10 this season when trailing after three quarters. The Clippers were scoreless in the final four minutes. Kawhi Leonard's potential tying 3-point attempt bounced off the front rim in the closing seconds.
Kawhi had 25 points and nine rebounds, but Paul George was 7-for-21 overall and 2-for-10 from deep for 16 points. George still leads the NBA in three-point percentage (minimum of 7.0 attempts per game) at 45.9 percent and is the only player in the league shooting at least 45 percent from deep and averaging a minimum of 23 points.
The Clippers lead the NBA in most games shooting at least 50 percent from beyond the arc with eight and are 13-0 when they make at least 16 three-pointers. They were 14-for-44 (31.8 percent) vs. the Bucks. Los Angeles is 10-1 this season following a loss. That defeat was Feb. 7 vs. Sacramento – the game after L.A. lost to Boston.
Will Celtics Have Jaylen Brown?
Boston has gotten back to .500 with back-to-back home wins. It was 111-110 over Washington on Sunday, a game the Wizards appeared to have in the bag. They were up 110-105 after a Bradley Beal score with 46 seconds left, but then Jayson Tatum took over. He had Boston’s final three baskets, including the winner with 4.7 seconds to go. Tatum had 31 points, Kemba Walker scored 21 for the Celtics, and Daniel Theis had 20 points and nine rebounds. The team was without All-Star Jaylen Brown with left knee soreness and he’s questionable for this one. Javonte Green replaced Brown, making his fourth career start and second this season. Green had eight points in 33 minutes.
Starting guard Marcus Smart hasn’t played in a few weeks due to injury and won’t be back until after the All-Star break. Boston could have used the excellent defender against Washington’s Beal, who had 46 points in the loss Sunday. Beal did have a crucial turnover with 12.4 seconds left. Beal and Russell Westbrook (24 points) combined for 70 points, but Washington's other three starters combined to score just two points.
One huge positive for Boston of late has been the play of Walker. Sunday’s game was the fourth time in the last five games that Walker has scored at least 20 points. He averaged 20.3 points last month after a slow start in January – he only debuted in mid-January due to offseason surgery. In the past six games, the Celtics are outscoring opponents by 9.9 points with Walker on the court.
We will give the points simply because of not knowing if Brown will play. The Celtics are 0-7 ATS at the top-rated books in their past seven after a win.
*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.