The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors are two of the Top-11 scoring offenses in the NBA. L.A. remains probably the best team to watch if you are into thunderous dunks, while Golden State is unbeatable when its hitting all those 3-pointers.
Warriors In A Rut
A little more than three weeks ago, Jan. 7 to be exact, the Warriors looked like maybe the best team in the Western Conference and the Pacific Division favorites. They won in Milwaukee on Jan. 7 to improve to 24-13 and it was the Warriors' 10th straight victory, the franchise's longest streak since 1975. Golden State and the Clippers were tied atop the division after that night's action, but the Warriors' futures looked brighter because the Clippers had just lost All-Star point guard Chris Paul for perhaps six weeks.
However, Golden State (20-24-2 ATS, 20-25-1 O/U at sportsbooks) has been inconsistent since by going 3-6 and without consecutive wins. Two of those victories were against teams that won't be in the playoffs: Boston and New Orleans. On Tuesday night at home, the Warriors were held to their third-lowest point total of the season in an 88-85 loss to Washington, which was an 8-point underdog for sports bettors. Stephen Curry was 8-for-23 from the field and Klay Thompson 5-for-17 as they were outplayed by Wizards counterparts John Wall and Bradley Beal. Curry missed two potential tying 3-point attempts in the final minute. Golden State shot only .375 percent overall. Thompson is averaging 14.6 points on .354 shooting in the past five.
Golden State's Harrison Barnes was one of the best rookies in the league last season, especially in the playoffs, but his production has fallen way off now that he's largely been relegated to a reserve role with the addition of Andre Iguodala. Barnes is shooting .360 percent from the field and averaging 6.5 points this month. The Warriors bench leaves a lot to be desired. Backup guard Jordan Crawford hasn't been great since being acquired from Boston.
Clips In Control Of Pacific
Despite not having Paul, who still hopes to return next week, the Clippers (28-19 ATS, 26-21 O/U at sportsbooks) are playing great this month, going 11-3 entering Wednesday night's home game with those Wizards. It was L.A.'s first game back at Staples Center off a seven-game road trip due to the Grammy Awards held at the arena. The only two games the Clippers lost on the trip were the two they didn't hit triple-digit points. They averaged 117.3 points in winning the final three. The 5-2 record was L.A.'s best-ever on a trip that long.
All-Star starter Blake Griffin has really raised his game of late. He's averaging 26.4 points on .571 shooting from the field this month (entering Wednesday) along with 7.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists. He would be the Western Conference Player of the Month if not for the obscene run the Thunder's Kevin Durant is on. Darren Collison has done just enough in Paul's absence, averaging 13.0 points and 6.2 assists in January. And center DeAndre Jordan is grabbing just about every board in site as he continues to lead the league there.
The Clippers are 1-1 in their past two in the second of a back-to-back. They won 126-118 at Toronto on Saturday a night after an impressive win in Chicago. On Jan. 17 the Clippers opened that seven-game road trip with a 14-point win at the Knicks but then lost by 14 the next night at Indiana.
Second of four meetings. Back on Halloween at Staples Center, the Clippers won 126-115 in their home opener behind 42 points and 15 assists from Paul. Curry had 38 points and nine assists. Los Angeles was a 6-point favorite on NBA odds with a total set at 205.5.
Free NBA picks: For our NBA picks in this match-up we'll take the Warriors -5 and the over. Golden State coach Mark Jackson wasn't happy after Tuesday's loss and the team should respond with a strong effort. The Warriors have won 14 of the past 16 at home in this series. L.A. has covered just four of those. The over is 7-0 in the past seven meetings overall.