The Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers will both be gunning for a victory on 3/25/2017 at 3:35 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Clippers
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, March 25, 2017
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
|501||Utah Jazz||-5.5 (-110)||203.5 (-110)||180
|502||Los Angeles Clippers|
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Utah (ROOT), Los Angeles (Prime Ticket)
PREDICTION: Clippers 103, Jazz 99
Pick: LA Clippers -4 -110
Oddsmakers currently have the LA CLIPPERS listed as -5.5 point favorites versus the UTAH, while the game’s total is sitting at 203.5.
LOS ANGELES — In a possible prelude to the postseason, the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers square off Saturday at Staples Center.
The Jazz (44-28) hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the Clippers (43-30) for the fourth seed and homecourt advantage in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs. If they retain their positions, the two clubs would meet in the first round.
However, much can change before the playoffs seeds are determined. The Oklahoma City Thunder, who are a game behind the Clippers, and the Memphis Grizzlies, who trail Los Angeles by 2 1/2 games, also remain in contention for the No. 4 and No. 5 spots.
“Yeah, this time of the year, losses I think impact you a little bit more because you can actually see the standings and see the race come down to the final however many games it’s going to be,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin told the Los Angeles Times.
Utah has dropped two of three contests to Los Angeles this season, but the Jazz came out on top 114-108 in a testy affair on March 13 that featured altercations between Utah center Rudy Gobert and Clippers guards Chris Paul and J.J. Redick at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
The win ended a nine-game winning streak by the Clippers on the Jazz’s home floor. Overall, the Clippers have captured 17 of the past 19 meetings against the Jazz, including the last four contests at Staples.
The Jazz are coming off a 108-101 win on Thursday over the New York Knicks, allowing Utah to snap a three-game skid. Gobert scored a career-high 35 points on 13-of-14 shooting, his best effort as a pro. Gobert matched a season high with 11 offensive rebounds and finished with 13 total boards for his 50th double-double this season.
“The biggest thing is his hands have improved,” said Utah forward Gordon Hayward, who scored 19 points against the Knicks. “He’s been able to catch the ball in traffic. His pivots have improved. He’s so big, if you don’t foul him, he’s going to dunk it. And then from the free-throw line too, he’s gotten a lot better. Those are areas where he’s improved and taken it up a notch.”
Inconsistency has prevented the Clippers from raising their game in the second half of the season. The Clippers lost 97-95 to the host Dallas Mavericks on Thursday to drop their record to 7-7 in March and 8-9 since the All-Star break.
Redick missed an off-balance 3-point jumper from the corner at the buzzer, ending a three-game winning streak for Los Angeles.
“I thought (Redick) had a great look at it,” said Clippers point guard Chris Paul, who had 15 points, six assists, six rebounds and three steals. “Hell of a play that (Clippers coach) Doc (Rivers) drew up. I was right there looking at it, and it looked good. It just rimmed out, hit the side of the rim.”
The Jazz have been playing without forward Derrick Favors (knee) and Shelvin Mack (sprained ankle). Favors, who has missed eight games, is not expected to play against the Clippers. Mack, who has sat out 17 games, is listed as questionable.