Los Angeles Clippers (37-34) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (31-39)
The 2022-23 NBA season continues on Sunday, March 19, 2023, when the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Portland Trail Blazers in this Western Conference clash at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. The Clippers enter as a 1.5-point favorite, but the total was not set at the time this preview was written.
The Clippers defeated the Trail Blazers in the only contest between these teams this season, winning in Portland on November 29, 118-112. The Clippers were 4.0 point underdogs in that contest with the total set at 211.0.
Clippers Streak Ends Against MagicThe Los Angeles Clippers (37-33, 35-35-0 ATS) lost to the Orlando Magic on Saturday, 113-108, snapping their four-game winning streak. The Clippers head to the road for just one game, the contest against Portland, and they are losers of three straight games on the road and are 18-18 overall. Los Angeles is fifth in the Western Conference standings, 1.5 games behind Phoenix and 1.0 games ahead of Dallas.
“He’s going to get through it,” Paul George said. “(Westbrook) knows that we trust him and got his back. ... I know the value he brings to the team. He plays hard, and that’s a guy that I want to roll with and compete with.”
Zu's B̶i̶r̶t̶h̶d̶a̶y̶ Block Party pic.twitter.com/d6cyLKlrYL— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) March 18, 2023
Los Angeles held an eight-point lead heading into the final quarter, but could not slow down Orlando who rallied for the five-point victory. The Clippers hit 46.7% of their shots but were just 6-22 from three-point range. Paul George led the team with 30 points and Ivica Zubac recorded a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds.
The disappointing performance from three-point range in the loss to Orlando was surprising, as the team is fifth in three-point shooting at 37.7%. They are right at that mark on the road this season (37.6%), averaging 114.1 points per game. The Clippers are averaging 122.0 points per game over their last five contests.
Trail Blazers Drop Fifth StraightThe Portland Trail Blazers (31-39, 33-36-1 ATS) lost to the Boston Celtics on Friday, 126-112, their fifth straight loss. Portland is 3-10 over their last 13. This contest is the final of a three-game homestand that has seen the club lose both of the first two meetings and they have lost three straight at home and are 17-17 in Portland the season. The Trail Blazers are currently 2.5 games behind the Lakers for the final playoff spot in the West.
“We haven't had many games where we don't give it our all. Game like tonight, we played a team that's let's face it, better than us. That's one of the elite teams in the league,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “When you play against teams like that, you can't shoot yourself in the foot, because you've got to play pretty much an outstanding game to have a shot. But we kept fighting, we kept scrapping.”
BIG D.O.L.L.A.— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 18, 2023
BIG BLOCK #RipCity pic.twitter.com/Kq4naJKHCH
Boston jumped out to a 15-point lead at the half, and Portland simply could not recover. The Celtics went to the line 35 times, hitting 29 free throws while the Trail Blazers were 22-31. Boston outrebounded Portland 52-37 in the game. Damien Lillard scored 41 points and added five assists.
Portland is only averaging 114.4 points per game, but this is a solid shooting team, 10th in field-goal percentage (47.9%) eighth in three-point shooting (37.3%), and seven in free-throw percentage (80.1%). They have been struggling defensively recently, allowing 122.2 points per game over the last five, and have given up at least 120 points in four straight games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Clippers have won the last three meetings between these teams, including the last two in Portland. They are in line to win a fourth straight meeting, as Portland is struggling to try to shut opponents down. They have yielded at least 120 points in four straight games, and have lost four of the last five contests by at least 14 points. At home, they are struggling as well, giving up at least 121 in each of their last three games.
Los Angeles has been struggling on the road in recent weeks, losing three straight, but they are coming off a four-game winning streak that was snapped on Saturday and have a healthy Paul George. Look for Los Angeles to pull out the three-point victory. The Clippers are 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
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Full-Game Total Pick
The teams combined for 230 points the last time they met, a contest where the total was set at 211.0. The thing about that game was that there was no number that was particularly extraordinary, as the Clippers hit 46.0% of their shots while Portland hit 47.0% of theirs. The Trail Blazers were held to just 15 free throws in the game, so one should expect a few more attempts in this game.
What that means is that the total will likely be somewhere around 232. The Clippers have gone over in four of their last five games when playing on zero day’s rest and have gone over in 21 of their last 28 games on the road. Portland has gone over in four straight games and has gone over in six of their last eight at home. If the total is set below 234, definitely take the over.