The Toronto Raptors want to close their visit to LA with a win against the Clippers and become one of few teams in the NBA this season that managed to stay unbeaten at Staples Center. They don’t have too many options if they want to reach the play-in tournament spot, as they sit three games behind the Wizards, who are holding the 10th position in the East. Meanwhile, the Clips have the same record as the third-placed Nuggets, and want to jump over the team from Colorado to avoid meeting with the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.
Toronto Raptors (27-38, +320) defeated the Lakers after suffering three defeats in a row. Truth to be told, their schedule has been pretty rough, as 2019 champions met with the Nets, Nuggets, and the Jazzers in those three contests.
Against the Lakers, Nick Nurse’s side posted a 121-14 victory thanks to its two leading stars, Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry, who were unstoppable. Siakam scored 39 points and Lowry 38, combining 12 threes, Lowry 8, and Siakam 4.
The purple and gold couldn’t find a way to stop these two guys, especially Lowry, who would stretch the defense and, apart from scoring, delivered 11 assists, and often make space for Siakam, whose one-on-one was perfect. These two guys are literally everything for this team, especially once Fred VanVleet isn’t playing. Apart from him, Chris Boucher, and Gary Trent Jr, won’t play due to injuries.
LA Clippers (43-22, -450) have three defeats in a row and need to bounce back; otherwise, the Nuggets might make their playoff life much more complicated. Tyronn Lue’s side had a bit of help from their city rivals, who beat Denver on Monday night.
Recently, the Clips have suffered defeats to New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns on the road, and against the Denver Nuggets at home. That match vs. Nuggets ended 110-104, and LAC had both Kawhi and Paul George on the court. But their defensive pit-bulls, Patrick Beverly and Serge Ibaka who are superb stoppers.
Leonard had just 16 points, while George scored 20. Rajon Rondo had a team-high 18 off the bench, DeMarcus Cousins added 16, and Reggie Jackson 15. Just to say that Boogie Cousins played 14 minutes and was shooting 6-for-9 from the field.
Head to Head Games
This will be the first game of the year between these two sides. The second will take place on May 12 in Tampa Bay, where the Raptors currently play their matches due to COVID-19 travel restrictions between Canada and the USA.
The Clippers will come into this matchup with a sense of urgency, as they need to start winning. Their current situation is not good at all, and it might be even worse. Getting in some negative streak before the playoffs can ruin the chemistry and the atmosphere in the locker room, and that is the last thing one title contender needs before the crucial part of the campaign. After all, said there, Clippers’ victory imposes itself as the only logical pick here. For you who want to go strong and attack higher profits, betting on LAC’s win with -9.5-point handicap is the real deal.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.