Wednesday night’s marquee matchup features the Los Angeles Clippers taking on the high-flying Phoenix Suns in the desert as they vie for division supremacy. Let’s analyze this Western Conference clash and be prepared to cash another one of our NBA picks tonight!
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 – 10:00 PM ET at PHX Arena
The Clippers saw their four-game winning streak snapped on Monday night in New Orleans when they were handily dispatched, 120-103, by the Pelicans. Zion Williamson led all scorers with 23 points while LA’s Paul George was uncharacteristically cold, hitting just 3-of-11 for 9 points in a game where the Pelicans wrested control of the game midway through the opening quarter and never trailed after that.
"We just didn't bring it, we were flat tonight," said George, who indicated he had injured his ankle during his 25 minutes of action. "We were out of sync. And give them credit. ... They played a great game tonight, defensively and offensively. They were hot."
After averaging nearly 116 points per game over their four previous games, the Clippers had the wind taken out of their sails for this one and saw only two of their five starters reach double digits, with Terance Mann leading LA with 17 points over 29 minutes of play.
Suns Shine on Monday Night
Phoenix trails Utah by just one game for the top spot in the Western Conference, therefore, their modest two-game losing streak last week came at an inopportune time as the end of the regular season looms. However, the Suns put those losses to Boston and Brooklyn in their rearview mirrors and focused on the task at hand, beating the suddenly surging New York Knicks and snapping their nine-game winning streak on Monday night.
The Knicks held a seven-point lead at the half but Phoenix took control and rallied for a 118-110 victory to get back on the winning track. Devin Booker led all scorers with 33 points while Deandre Ayton dominated the glass with 13 rebounds and chipped in nine points of his own.
It was a particularly big win because the Suns were playing the second of back-to-back games, hot off the heels of a 128-119 loss, and facing the hottest team in the league. Nevertheless, the NBA odds at all of the best online sportsbooks installed them as 2 ½ point road favorites and they did not disappoint their backers.
"We wanted this one. We wanted this one bad, just for ourselves," Booker said. "I mean obviously we knew about the streak that they had going on and we knew that this was going to be a dogfight."
Veteran point guard, Chris Paul, has been a steadying influence on this young team all season, and Monday night was no different as he scored the last seven points to cap the victory. Traveling to New York to meet the white-hot Knicks after a tough loss was a mental hurdle the younger players would have to overcome.
"Everybody was messing with the young guys before the game like, this ain't just a regular game," Paul said. "With the way that team's playing over there, this was a fun game."
Wanna Make a Bet?
The Clippers have won both meetings between the clubs this season, with the most recent being a 113-103 win in LA earlier this month. But we should note that both of those victories came with Kawhi Leonard in the lineup and a healthy Paul George scoring 39 points in the first victory (112-107) and again leading all scorers with 33 in their April 8th tilt.
However, Leonard has been nursing a sore foot and may not play in Wednesday night’s contest while George injured his ankle in Monday night’s game. The lines are silent on this game because the status of both players is unknown at the time of this writing. But even if they both suit up, how effective will they be at a less than optimum level against a hungry young team bent on avenging their earlier losses and seeking the top spot in the conference?
This will be a dandy to watch but my money will be on the young guns from the desert as they look to exploit a more mature team plagued by injuries.
*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.