Must-Win Game for Both Nuggets and Clippers on Final Saturday

clippers nuggets

Matthew Jordan

Friday, April 6, 2018 12:35 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 6, 2018 12:35 PM GMT

It’s two desperate teams in the Western Conference playoff chase facing off in a Saturday matinee (3:30 p.m. ET) as the Denver Nuggets visit the Los Angeles Clippers.

Denver (44-35, 35-41-3 ATS) at LA Clippers (42-37, 42-36-1 ATS)Free NBA Pick: NuggetsBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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The final Saturday of the NBA’s regular season features a six-game schedule, and we have a rare matinee with Nuggets-Clippers tipping off at 3:30 p.m. ET local time on NBA TV. You can also find a preview of the ABC prime-time game between the Thunder and Rockets here at SBR.

The Clippers go for the three-game season sweep of Denver, and if that happens the Nuggets’ playoff hopes are about gone. On Jan. 17 in L.A., the Clippers won 109-104 back when they still had Blake Griffin. He had 20 points and 12 rebounds in L.A.’s sixth straight win at the time. DeAndre Jordan was out injured. Denver led by five early in the fourth but was killed by turnovers all night with 21 of them. It was the second of a back-to-back for the Nugs.

On Feb. 27, the Clippers were 122-120 upset winners. Denver blew a 19-point third-quarter lead. Lou Williams had 25 points to lead the Clippers, whose bench outscored the Nuggets’ 54-4 in the second half. Gary Harris had 23 points to lead the Nuggets. That was Paul Millsap’s first game in three months off a wrist injury.

The Nuggets are just 8-14 against the Clippers at Staples Center over the last 11 seasons. Denver has failed to cover its past four there.

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Playoffs Long Shot For Both

Entering Friday, Denver sat ninth in the West and was given a 63 percent chance of missing the playoffs. The Clippers were 10th and had an 89 percent chance to miss out. The two teams immediately in front of them, Minnesota and New Orleans, both played Friday night so those numbers could change. Long story short: Both the Nuggets and Clippers need to win out (clearly one can’t) and that might not even be enough. The loser here is basically out and in fact L.A. could be eliminated. Obviously, the Clippers would win any head-to-head tiebreaker between these two because they clinched the season series.

Denver got a huge win Thursday, 100-96 over the Timberwolves, the Nuggets’ fourth straight victory. They can beat anyone at home (30-10), but a 14-25 (16-21-2 ATS) road mark is a killer. Jamal Murray had 22 points and Nikola Jokic 16 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. He’s averaging 24.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the past 10. Nuggets second-leading scorer Gary Harris missed a 10th straight game with a strained right knee and is considered doubtful Saturday. He needs to man up.

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— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 6, 2018
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The Clippers closed their regular-season road schedule Thursday with a 117-95 loss in Utah. L.A. lacked any urgency and shot 3-for-17 from deep. Danilo Gallinari missed his fourth game in the last six with a sore right hand, and his season is expected to be done. He has been an injury-plagued bust – but then is anyone surprised by that? Injuries have hammered the Clips all season.

  • Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
  • Clippers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. Western Conference.
  • Favorite is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.

I realize that Denver hasn’t been a good road team this season and is just 2-5 ATS in the past seven in this series, but the Nuggets have been better away from home of late with big wins in Washington and Oklahoma City and that cover trend listed above. They are simply the better team here. Take the points for a Saturday NBA pick.

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