Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#581 Washington Wizards 235.5 vs.
#582 Los Angeles Clippers -11
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 10:05pm EST
Staples Center, Los Angeles
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s an interconference clash on the hardwood in the City of Angels. The Washington Wizards are on the road as they make the trip to face the LA Clippers Tuesday night. Washington comes in off a 118-111 road victory over Portland Saturday night in their most recent contest. They were in action in the City of Angels as they faced the Lakers Monday night and extended their win streak to five games with a 127-124 overtime triumph. LA was dropped 112-108 at home by Brooklyn Sunday night in their latest action. The Wizards own a 76-46 advantage in the all-time regular-season series between the teams but the Clippers have won the last two matchups. That includes a 135-119 road victory in the most recent meeting between the teams on December 8, 2019.

Washington Wizards Playing Second Game of Back-to-Back

Washington earned their fourth consecutive victory as they took down Portland on the road Saturday night. The Wizards entered Tuesday in the cellar of the Southeast Division, two games behind Charlotte for the top spot. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team stood 13th, two games out of the final playoff spot. Against Portland, Washington trailed by 12 after the opening quarter and was down 14 early in the second quarter before rallying to lead by six at the half. The Wizards were down three after three quarters and trailed by one with 8:39 to play before scoring the next five points to take a 100-96 lead. Washington didn’t let Portland even again as they held off the Trail Blazers for the win. The Wizards shot 50.6% from the field, including six of 26 from three-point range, and held Portland to 35.9% shooting in the contest. Bradley Beal led Washington with 37 points and seven rebounds in the win.

On the season, the Wizards are 11th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 114 points per contest. Washington is 10th in the league in rebounding as they collect an average of 44.8 boards per game while they stand 14th in assists by handing out 24.9 dimes a night. The Wizards are 29th in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 119.1 points per game this season. Bradley Beal leads the team with 32.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game on the season. Russell Westbrook puts up 19.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.7 assists per contest while Thomas Bryant put up 14.3 points a game but suffered a torn ACL and is done for the year. Rui Hachimura (13.4 points, 5.5 rebounds) and Raul Neto are also contributing on the offensive end of the floor. Davis Bertans (11.3 points), Isaac Bonga, Deni Avidja, Ish Smith, Garrison Matthews, Robin Lopez and Troy Brown Jr. have to step up offensively. Washington is 19th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 45.5% from the floor on the year. The Wizards are 24th by knocking down an average of 11.4 three-pointers a night while they stand 29th by sinking 33.9% of their attempts from beyond the arc. Smith is out six to eight weeks with a quad injury suffered February 12 against the Knicks.

LA Clippers Hoping to Regroup

LA had their chances but ended up with their second loss in the last three games as they fell at home to the Nets Sunday night. The Clippers entered Monday second in the Pacific Division, a half-game behind the Lakers for the top spot. In the Western Conference playoff picture, the team is third, three games behind the Jazz for the number one seed. On Sunday, the Clippers led by two after the opening quarter only to trail by seven at the half. LA trailed by 15 with 8:52 to play but rallied to tie the game at 108 with 28.6 seconds to play. The Clippers couldn’t get over the hump as they gave up the game’s final four points to take the tough loss. LA shot 46% from the field, including 15 of 35 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 52-40 yet still took the defeat. Paul George led the Clippers with 34 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the loss.

For the year, the Clippers are 6th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 115.2 points per game. LA is 14th in rebounding with 44.3 boards a night while they stand 19th in assists by handing out 24.3 per game. The Clippers are 5th in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 108.8 points a night. Paul George is second on the team with 24.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists a night. Kawhi Leonard kicks in a team-leading 26.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game while Serge Ibaka adds 11.5 points plus 6.8 boards a contest. Ivica Zubac, Lou Williams (12.3 points), Nicolas Batum (9.2 points, 4.9 rebounds), Luke Kennard, Patrick Beverley, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr. (13 points) are key players in the rotation. LA is 3rd in field goal percentage as they shoot 48.4% from the floor as a team. The Clippers are seventh by knocking down 14.2 three-pointers a night while they are first in the league by drilling a sizzling 42% of their long-range attempts.

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Washington has played well of late with four straight wins heading into Monday but this marks their third game in four nights. While the Wizards didn’t have to travel for the second game of this back-to-back situation, the fact remains that they could have fatigue take a toll on them. LA suffered a tough loss after they rallied in the fourth quarter against the Nets. The Clippers have George on a minutes restriction but they have plenty of weapons to work with on the offensive end of the floor. With the Wizards’ struggles on the defensive end of the floor and the fact that this is their third game in four nights, you have to give the edge to the hosts here.

Prediction: LA Clippers -12.5

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Washington is still a good offensive unit while they are second-last in the league in scoring defense. The Wizards lead the league in tempo with 103.9 possessions a game. Washington sees an average of 230.4 points per game in the second game of back-to-back situations this season. LA is sixth in the league in scoring offense though they actually can play capable defense. The Clippers are just 27th in tempo as they average 97.4 possessions per contest this season. LA makes up for their slow tempo by shooting the lights out on a regular basis. That could work against a Washington team that is 23rd in field goal percentage defense (47.3%) and 24th in three-point field goal percentage defense (38.2%) this season. With the Wizards’ leaky defense and their fast pace, this one ends up over the mark.

Prediction: Over 231.5

Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

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