Miami (22-16) at L.A. Clippers (25-13)
When: Wednesday, January 13th 2016
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 10:35 ET | TV: ESPN
The streaking Los Angeles Clippers will play host to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at the Staples Center. The Clippers, who have been without leading scorer Blake Griffin for the last eight games, have won nine straight. However, none of those teams had winning records and tonight’s contest against the 22-16 Heat will be a test. Los Angeles nearly had the winning streak come to an end on Sunday, when it survived a 114-111 overtime battle with the New Orleans Pelicans. Chris Paul, who was recently named Western Conference Player of the Week, scored 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting and dished out 11 assists. He’s averaging 23.7 points and 12.3 assists in his last three games. Luc Mbah a Moute was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and the bench scored 49 points in the win. Griffin, who has only just begun to shoot free throws, is not expected back very soon. The Clippers are averaging 110.5 points in his absence, however. Paul Pierce is just 3-for-16 shooting in the last two games and played only 12:43 against New Orleans. The recent streak hasn’t go the Clippers any closer to the Warriors in the Pacific Division, but L.A. now owns the best record in the NBA of any non division leading team.
The Heat are 1-2 on their current six-game road trip that began a string of 14 of 16 on the road. It started off with a win in Phoenix, but then they lost at Utah before giving Golden State all they had in a 111-103 loss. Miami outplayed Golden State’s starters but could not keep pace with the bench during a decisive stretch at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Chris Bosh (15 points, 12 rebounds), Luol Deng (14 and 10) and Dwyane Wade (20 points, 11 assists) each posted a double-double in the loss. Bosh has been a fantasy stud the last 3-4 weeks scoring above his 19.1 average on 10 of 13 occasions. Hassan Whiteside, who is averaging 12.1 points and 11.1 rebounds this season, sat out Monday’s game with a knee injury and is questionable for tonight. The Heat have lost three of four overall, but find themselves just a game behind the Atlanta Hawks in the Southeast Division. They are currently the sixth seed in the East, but winning the division would make them at least a three-seed.
DeAndre Jordan is questionable in this game as he battles the flu and with Whiteside questionable, there is no overnight line on this game. L.A. will win this game, but check back Wednesday afternoon for my pick against the spread.
Pick: Clippers -5