It’s an inter-conference clash down in South Beach between a couple teams playing the second game of back to back situations. The LA Clippers are on the road as they take on the Miami Heat Saturday night. LA was defeated 100-91 on the road by the Wizards Friday night in the second game of their road swing. Miami picked up a 104-98 road win over Charlotte Friday night. The Heat owns a 34-24 edge in the all-time regular season series between the teams and won the first meeting this season, 104-101, on the road back on November 5.
LA Clippers Continue Road Trip
LA won their opening game of their road trip but they were unable to maintain that momentum in the nation’s capital. The Clippers now have to head south to face the Heat to try and get back on the winning path. LA was down seven after one quarter, by five at the half and by 11 after three quarters: they were unable to rally for the win. The Clippers shot 38.8 percent from the field and went seven of 24 from three point range. LA went only 18 of 29 at the line while turning the ball over 21 times, which offset the 19 turnovers they forced. Lou Williams led the Clippers with 23 points in the loss.
The Clippers are currently 15th in the league in scoring offense with 105 points per game. LA is 15th in the league in rebounding with 43.4 boards per game and stand 26th in assists with 20.5 per contest. The Clippers are solid defensively, ranking 19th in scoring defense by allowing 106.7 points per game. Blake Griffin leads the team with 23.6 points plus 7.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. DeAndre Jordan puts up 10.9 points and 14.6 rebounds per night. Lou Williams (20 points, 4.8 assists) and Danilo Gallinari (13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds) are solid offensive weapons for Doc Rivers. Gallinari returned for a couple of games but is out again with a glute issue. Patrick Beverley (12.2 points, 1.73 steals) is likely done for the year after microfracture surgery and Griffin could miss two months with a sprained MCL. Willie Reed, Austin Rivers (14.5 points), Sam Dekker, Wesley Johnson and Milos Teodosic are good rotation players for the Clippers. LA is 20th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 45 percent from the floor. The Clippers are tied for 15th in three pointers a game with 10.6 and 22nd in three point shooting as they hit 35.6 percent of their long range attempts.
Miami Heat Seeks Season Sweep of Clippers
Miami went on the road and downed Charlotte in a Southeast Division matchup Friday night. The Heat now returns home looking for a second straight win and to sweep the season series against the Clippers after beating them in LA last month. Miami led by five after the opening quarter and held the Hornets off in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory. The Heat shot 50 percent from the field despite going 11 of 31 from three point range in the contest. Miami held the Hornets to 41 percent shooting and forced 16 turnovers in the win. Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington each had 16 off the bench to lead the Heat in the win.
The Heat has been mediocre offensively so far this season, ranking 26th in the league with 100.3 points per game. Miami has been below average on the glass as they are 25th with 41.1 boards per game. The Heat is 23rd in assists with 20.9 dimes per contest. Miami comes in 8th in scoring defense as they allow 102.7 points per game. Hassan Whiteside is the big man in the low block with 14.9 points plus 12.6 boards a night but has missed 13 games this season with a knee bruise. Goran Dragic averages 17.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game while Dion Waiters puts up 14.7 points per contest. James Johnson (11.2 points, 5.3 boards, 4.2 assists), Kelly Olynyk (9.2 points, 5.3 rebounds) and Josh Richardson (10.2 points, three rebounds) are solid secondary options. The Heat also look to Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson and Justise Winslow to contribute on both ends. Miami is tied for 16th in field goal percentage as they shoot 45.4 percent as a team. The Heat stands 4th with 11.9 three pointers a night and 10th in three point shooting at 37.1 percent.
- Clippers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 0 days rest
- Clippers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games
- Heat are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games playing on 0 days rest
- Heat are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 Saturday games
The Clippers are a banged up squad as Beverley and Griffin are out long term. Gallinari, Rivers and Teodosic are out at least for the short term, which puts a lot of pressure on Jordan and Williams. While that duo has a lot of talent, you can’t put the weight of an entire franchise on them. Other players have to step up but the problem is that the Clippers don’t have the other talent. Miami is coming off a gritty win on the road as they continue to play without Whiteside: their balanced scoring carries them to a home win and above the .500 mark on the year.