Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#545 Denver Nuggets 222 vs.
#546 Los Angeles Clippers -6.5
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 10:35pm EST
Staples Center, Los Angeles
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of teams near the top of the Western Conference standings take the floor in the City of Angels. The Denver Nuggets are on the road as they travel to face the LA Clippers Friday night. Denver comes in off a 115-98 home victory over Detroit in their last game on Tuesday night. LA dropped Phoenix 102-92 on the road Wednesday night in their previous matchup. The Nuggets own a 97-79 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams and have won the last three matchups. That includes a 114-104 home win in the first meeting this season as a one-point favorite on January 12.

Denver Nuggets Seek Third Straight Win

Denver won their second straight game as they downed the Pistons at home on Tuesday night. The Nuggets entered Thursday with a four-game lead over Oklahoma City and Utah in the Northwest Division race. In the Western Conference playoff picture, the team is second, five games behind the Lakers for the top spot. Denver led by six after the opening quarter and by 13 at the half. The Nuggets didn’t let the Pistons closer than six in the second half en route to the win. Denver shot 57.9 percent from the field, including nine of 19 from three-point range, and held the Pistons to 40.7 percent shooting. Jerami Grant led the Nuggets with 29 points off the bench in the loss.

The Nuggets enter this contest 19th in the league by averaging 110.7 points per game on the year. Denver is 20th in rebounding by collecting 44.6 boards per night and 4th in assists by dishing out 26.5 dimes a night. The Nuggets are 5th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 106.8 points per contest this season. Jamal Murray is second on the team with 18.9 points plus 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per contest this season. Nikola Jokic contributes 20.8 points, 10 rebounds and 6.8 assists a night. Will Barton (14.8 points, 6.4 rebounds), Gary Harris (10.2 points), Paul Millsap (12.1 points) and Torrey Craig are solid contributors. Jerami Grant (11.5 points), Mason Plumlee, Monte Morris and Michael Porter Jr. are key bench pieces for Mike Malone’s group. Denver is 8th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.9 percent from the floor as a team this season. The Nuggets are tied for 23rd in the league in threes per game as they knock 10.8 triples per contest while the team is 17th in three-point shooting by hitting 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.

LA Clippers Hoping to Get Back on Track

LA won their second straight after a three-game slide as they knocked off the Suns on the road Wednesday night. The Clippers are second in the Pacific Division, six games behind the Lakers in the standings. In the Western Conference playoff picture, the team is third in the standings, six games behind the Lakers for the top spot there. LA trailed by eight after the opening quarter before gaining the lead with a 33-20 advantage in the second quarter. The Clippers extended their margin to 10 after three quarters and didn’t let Phoenix closer than seven in the final quarter. LA shot 44 percent from the field, including 14 of 38 from three-point range, and held Phoenix to 39.1 percent shooting in the game. Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 24 points, 14 rebounds and five assists in the win.

The Clippers are currently 6th in the league in scoring offense with 115.6 points per game. LA is 3rd in the league in rebounding with 48.1 boards per game and stand 17th in assists with 23.9 per contest. The Clippers are average defensively, ranking 13th in scoring defense by allowing 109.8 points per game. Paul George is second on the team with 21 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game on the season. Kawhi Leonard contributes a team-leading 27.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists this year. Lou Williams (19.1 points, 5.8 assists) and Montrezl Harrell (18.6 points, seven rebounds) are both averaging in double figures as well. JaMychal Green, Reggie Jackson, Ivica Zubac, Marcus Morris Sr., Patrick Beverley, Patrick Patterson and Landry Shamet (10.4 points) are other key pieces for Doc Rivers. LA is tied for 13th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.2 percent from the floor. The Clippers are 14th in three pointers a game with 12 per contest and tied for 10th in three-point shooting as they hit 36.5 percent of their long-range attempts.

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This one is going to be a heavyweight matchup between a pair of deep rotations in the Western Conference. It’s a contrast of styles a bit as well as Denver is a defensive-oriented team while the Clippers are a run and gun offensive style led by their stars. The Nuggets have been solid all season long and earned a win in the first meeting this season but that game came without George in the mix for the Clippers. LA is 23-6 at home this season and they have back to back wins on the books. Look for the Clippers to scratch out a win here as they do just enough against the Nuggets to come up with the victory.

Prediction: LA Clippers -5.5

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Denver is a solid defensive team that plays at a slow tempo, which is a direct contrast to what to expect here from their opponents. The Nuggets are 29th in pace with an average tempo of 97.2 possessions per game this season. LA is eighth in that category with 102 possessions a night. The Clippers are a solid offensive unit this season with quality depth. LA is underrated defensively as they are third in field goal percentage defense (43.6 percent) and sixth in three-point field goal percentage defense (34.3 percent) on the year. Denver does their part on the defensive end of the floor as well and that helps keep this one under the total in an entertaining contest.

Prediction: Under 218.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.