It’s an inter-conference contest between a pair of teams that have struggled so far this season in Buzz City. The LA Clippers are on the road as they travel to face the Charlotte Hornets Saturday night. LA was in action Friday night against the defending Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers on the road. Charlotte lost its fifth straight with a 115-107 home loss to Cleveland on Wednesday night: they were in the Windy City to face the Bulls Friday. The Clippers have a 29-24 advantage in the all-time regular season series and have taken the last six meetings, including both matchups last season.
LA Clippers Looking To Snap Out of Slide
LA entered Friday’s game on a six game losing skid after falling at home to the 76ers Monday night. The Clippers started the year 4-0 but had lost eight of their last nine going into Friday’s game. LA had dropped to 12th in the Western Conference standings, 5.5 games behind the conference leading Rockets. The Clippers stood five games behind the Warriors for the top spot in the Pacific Division and 1.5 games behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the West. LA went into Friday’s game 2-3 on the road and 0-3 against Eastern Conference foes this season.
The Clippers are currently 12th in the league in scoring offense with 107.2 points per game. LA is 11th in the league in rebounding with 45 boards per game and stand 28th in assists with 19 per contest. The Clippers are solid defensively, ranking 17th in scoring defense by allowing 106 points per game. Blake Griffin leads the team with 23.1 points plus 8.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. DeAndre Jordan puts up 9.5 points and 13.4 rebounds per night. Lou Williams (17.5 points, 3.4 assists), Patrick Beverley (12.5 points, 1.9 steals) and Danilo Gallinari (12.8 points, 4.6 rebounds) are solid offensive weapons for Doc Rivers. Willie Reed, Austin Rivers, Sam Dekker, Wesley Johnson and Milos Teodosic are good rotation players for the Clippers. LA is tied for 18th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.9 percent from the floor. The Clippers are 13th in three pointers a game with 10.7 and 12th in three point shooting as they hit 36.4 percent of their long range attempts.
Charlotte Hornets Try to Stop Skid of Their Own
While LA went to Cleveland losers of six in a row, Charlotte had their own problems with a losing streak. The Hornets went into Friday’s road tilt with Chicago on a five game skid of their own after falling at home to the Cavaliers Wednesday. Charlotte led by six at the half but wilted in the second half as they were outscored 54-40 to allow the Cavaliers to rally for the victory. The Hornets shot 47.7 percent from the field but missed 20 of their 26 three point attempts in addition to nine of 28 free throws. Charlotte also lost the rebounding battle 51-42. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the Hornets with 22 points in the loss.
The Hornets are a below average team offensively, ranking 20th in the league with 103.7 points per game. Charlotte is 4th in rebounding with 47.4 boards per game and 26th by dishing out 19.6 assists per contest. The Hornets come in ranked 15th in scoring defense by allowing 105.7 points per game. Kemba Walker leads the team with 21.5 points while dishing out 6.6 assists per game. Dwight Howard is averaging 13.9 points plus 12.5 rebounds per contest, Jeremy Lamb adds 16.4 points plus 5.1 boards per game and Frank Kaminsky chips in 10.9 points a night. Cody Zeller, Treveon Graham, Marvin Williams, Dwayne Bacon, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Malik Monk have to be valuable bench contributors. Nicolas Batum, who tore an elbow ligament in early October, made his season debut against the Cavaliers, scoring 16 points in 32 minutes. The Hornets are 22nd in field goal percentage as the team shoots 44.4 percent from the floor. Charlotte is 24th with 9.4 threes per game while ranking 22nd in three point shooting as they hit 35 percent from beyond the arc.
- Clippers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference
- Clippers are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games overall
- Clippers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 0 days rest
- Hornets are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. NBA Pacific
A matchup of scuffling teams can go one of two ways: it can either be highly entertaining or a complete train wreck. The Clippers are going to be fatigued a bit after flying cross-country and playing in Cleveland Friday before coming to Charlotte Saturday. They’re struggling as it is and injuries haven’t helped the team much at this point of the season. Charlotte has had their own problems with five straight losses, four of which had come on the road. Getting Batum back lengthens their rotation and gives them another decent scoring option plus a veteran presence. Look for Charlotte to take this one as the Clippers continue to implode.