Featured Video from Scott Steehn
When and where: March 15, 2019, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA, 10:30 PM ET
After having their five-game win streak snapped, the Los Angeles Clippers look forward to a showdown with the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. The Bulls are currently riding a three-game losing streak to the Los Angeles Lakers and back-to-back losses to the Detroit Pistons. Meanwhile, the Clippers are coming off a home win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bulls drop third-straight loss
The Bulls proved to be no match for the LeBron James-led Lakers on Tuesday night. However, it was one of those games that didn’t really feel like a loss considering how well they played without Zach LaVine on the floor. The Bulls star guard sat out the game with a knee injury, leaving an already rebuilding team without its best player.
Yet, they still fought valiantly against the Lakers and even started off with an 18-point lead in the first quarter.
The team as a whole shot 46.2 percent from the floor, including going 11-of-27 from 3-pointer. They were also plus-two on the boards and finished a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line. They played well enough to win if they weren’t facing arguably the best player on the planet. James’ monstrous 36-point performance was simply too much for the Bulls to overcome.
Center Robin Lopez led the team with 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Otto Porter Jr. contributed 19 points, nine rebounds and two assists in the 123-107 loss.
Clippers five-game run comes to an end
Before Tuesday night’s game against the Trail Blazers, the Clippers were putting the entire Western Conference on notice.
No, they don’t have the most talent on their roster, but they are a well-coached team that is capable of giving teams problems in the playoffs. Make no mistake, no one is looking forward to playing the Clippers from here on out. If given the opportunity, they are a legitimate dark horse team that can ruin playoff positioning.
Their five-game run came to an end against the Trail Blazers, who are currently the fifth-ranked team in the Western Conference. The deadly combination of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum buried them in the second-half. They also struggled to contain Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic in the post.
The Clippers as a whole finished the game with a 40.0 field goal shooting percentage, which includes an effective, albeit conservative approach, from 3-pointer (9-of-15).
Montrezl Harrell came off the bench and netted a team-high 22 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, while Lou Williams dropped 18 points, three assists and two steals in the 125-104 loss.
- Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games
- Clippers are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 Friday games
- Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against teams in the Eastern Conference
- Clippers are 22-8-1 ATS in their last 31 games against teams with a winning % below .400
- Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in the previous game
- Bulls are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games against teams with a home winning % of greater than .600
- Bulls are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 2 days rest
- Bulls are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in the previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bulls expect LaVine to be back on the floor on Friday against the Clippers, which should at the very least make this game a bit more interesting. If LaVine gets going early, the Bulls have proven they can be a Jekyll-and-Hyde kind of team. Just ask the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics if the 19-win Bulls are a team worth underestimating.
There won’t be any looking past anyone for the Clippers, who have relished in the underdog role all season long. Despite not having a superstar, they still sit in the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference standings—six games ahead of the No. 9 Sacramento Kings for playoff contention. A win over the Bulls would help them continue to build on that lead.
Meanwhile, the Bulls are mostly playing for experience as they look to continue their renovation project. LaVine is a bit of a one-man show, and he’ll struggle keeping up with the plethora of shooters the Clippers have on the floor. They are quietly the sixth-best scoring offense in the league, while the Bulls are the third-worst behind the Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies.
The Bulls also don’t play good defense, which should pave the way for a dominant performance from Williams and Danilo Gallinari, who might also make his return on Friday. Give me the Clippers in this game.
Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers (-8.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 5-0 in the last five head-to-head meetings between the Bulls and Clippers. I’m going to stick with the under in this game due to the Bulls not consistently playing well offensively on the road. It would be a different story if LaVine was back and this game was in Chicago, but the Bulls will find a way to deliver a dud of an offensive performance in an uncomfortable environment. Take the under in this game.
Prediction: Under (229)