The Clippers opened as 9.5-point favorites on NBA odds with a total of 204, while Dallas is -3.5 at sportsbooks with a total of 209.5.
Kings at Clippers
Los Angeles (19-20 ATS, 19-19-1 O/U at home on sportsbooks) blew a golden chance to earn the second seed in the West when it lost 107-101 at home on Wednesday to an Oklahoma City team playing its second game in 24 hours. Now the Thunder and Clippers are pretty much locked into No. 2 and No. 3, meaning OKC will have home-court advantage in a potential second-round matchup between those teams.
With not much to play for, the Clippers could decide to rest some of their starters. However, Coach Doc Rivers said this to the media on that topic following Wednesday's loss: "You've got to be careful with rest, with too much rest you get out of rhythm." DeAndre Jordan is the only Clipper to play in every game and is averaging 35.4 minutes a night. Blake Griffin has played all but one and is averaging 35.9 minutes. He was the best Clipper against the Thunder with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Jamal Crawford missed his fifth straight game Wednesday but believes it's important to play in at least one game before the playoffs begin. It might be this one as he practiced Friday.
This is the final road game of the season for the Kings (20-17-3 ATS, 16-22-2 O/U on road), and they enter having lost four straight. Sacramento played well Wednesday in Portland but lost 100-99 when the Blazers' Dorell Wright hit a 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds remaining. Ray McCallum missed a 21-footer on the other end as time ran out for Sacramento. He has been starting for Isaiah Thomas, who has missed nine straight with a quad injury and won't play in this one. Rudy Gay was a late scratch against the Blazers with a back injury but is expected to return.
In a scheduling oddity, the Clippers and Kings haven't played since November, a month in which they played three times. Thus L.A. hasn't seen Sacramento with Gay yet (if he plays). Griffin is averaging 19.0 points and 13.0 rebounds in the three games. Chris Paul 24.0 points and 9.5 assists in two. Kings double-double machine DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 24.0 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists in the three games.
Suns at Mavericks
This game could provide an all-important head-to-head tiebreaker as the Suns enter Saturday No. 9 in the West but percentage-wise tied with No. 8 Memphis for the final playoff spot. Dallas is a half-game ahead for No. 7 but even in the loss column. The Suns and Mavericks split the first two meetings, both in Phoenix. Phoenix only had Eric Bledsoe for one of them and it's likely not a coincidence that's the one the Suns won: 123-108 on Dec. 21 behind 25 points and six assists from Bledsoe. Monta Ellis is averaging 21.5 points and 8.0 assists in the two games for the Mavs. Dirk Nowitzki 21.0 points.
Dallas (17-23 ATS, 24-16 O/U at home) had won four straight games, all on the road, but lost a big one at home Thursday night 109-100 to a Spurs team playing without Tony Parker. No matter, backup Patty Mills scorched the Mavs for 26. It was Dallas' ninth straight loss to San Antonio. The Mavericks also have dropped five of their past eight at home overall.
The Suns (27-12 ATS, 17-21-1 O/U on road) should have gained from the Spurs having played Thursday night as Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan all sat out Friday against Phoenix. However, Phoenix had its three-game winning streak snapped with a 112-104 loss despite 30 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds from Bledsoe. He now appears fully healthy and back in rhythm. Bledsoe is averaging 21.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists this month. He and Goran Dragic might be the NBA's smallest backcourt, but it's dynamic offensively at times. Dragic was a surprising scratch from Friday's game with an ankle injury, but it would be a minor upset if he doesn't play here.
NBA Parlay Picks: On the spread, take the Clippers and Mavericks on the simple two-team 13/5 parlay. There is no opening moneyline on Suns-Mavs because of Dragic's status.