National Basketball Association
L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Clippers are closing in on the fourth-place Utah Jazz in the Western Conference playoff chase and look to create more pressure on Utah when they play the host Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. The Clippers are just one game behind Utah after posting back-to-back victories and have a crucial contest against the Jazz on Saturday.
The Clippers received 30 points from power forward Blake Griffin while posting a 114-105 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday. Griffin is averaging 26.5 points over the past two games and he is physically strong after dealing with injuries earlier in the season. The Lakers have lost five straight games during their fourth consecutive 50-loss campaign as they limp to the finish line. D'Angelo Russell started at shooting guard Sunday for the first time and poured in a career-best 40 points in Sunday's 125-120 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles)ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (42-29):
Numerous players were able to draw rest in the final quarter after the Clippers led the Knicks by 25 points through three quarters, a situation Griffin found pleasing. "I'd like to see us execute like this in a little more stressful environment on the road, different situations," Griffin told reporters. "It's always nice to have a game where most everybody's under 30 minutes. You get to rest in the fourth quarter and get ready for the Lakers." Point guard Chris Paul recorded 13 points and 13 assists after having poor shooting performances — 0-of-8 and 2-of-10 — in two of the previous three games.ABOUT THE LAKERS (20-50):
Russell started at shooting guard due to Nick Young's illness and he took a much more aggressive approach while making 14-of-22 shots, including 7-of-12 from 3-point range. "I feel like when you're playing shooting guard, you've got to score the ball or make plays for your teammates," Russell told reporters. "Playing the point guard, it's harder to do that, be aggressive, try to score the ball every time, because you've got to make at least one pass. But figuring it out, whatever position I'm in, I'm going to try to make the best of it." Russell recently was demoted as the starting point guard and coach Luke Walton is employing Jordan Clarkson as the starter at that position.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Clippers won 12 of the past 13 meetings but the teams split this season's previous two matchups.
2. Clippers backup G Austin Rivers is averaging 15 points over the past three games.
3. Clarkson is averaging 20.2 points in nine March outings.PREDICTION:
Clippers 123, Lakers 113
Stats and Records