Battle of L.A.
November 2, 2012
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Sportsbook.ag NBA Game of the Day
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (1-0) at LOS ANGELES LAKERS (0-2)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Lakers -4.5 & 192.5
The Lakers are still searching for their first win of the season when the cross-town rival Clippers pay a visit on Friday night.
The Lake Show has allowed a stunning 107.5 PPG (49% FG) during their two-game losing skid to open the season, while turning the ball over 39 times in the two defeats. They will also likely be without starting PG Steve Nash, who is doubtful with a shin contusion, and although star SG Kobe Bryant (sore foot) is also hurting, he will start on Friday. The Clippers began slow in their season opener Wednesday, but finished strong by outscoring Memphis 28-15 in the fourth quarter of a 101-92 win. Although both teams play their home games in the Staples Center, the Lakers have had the upper hand in this series with nine straight SU wins (6-3 ATS) as the designated home team. The Lakers are desperate for a win, and they usually have no trouble gearing up for this rivalry, winning four of the past five meetings. The Over has hit five straight times in this series, which is a great sign for the Lakers being the superior offensive team in this matchup, especially with Dwight Howard coming off a 33-point outburst in Portland two nights ago and Kobe Bryant starting the season 21-of-34 from the floor (62%). Also, teams coming off a road loss with a winning record in the prior season are 64-32 ATS (67%) in the past five seasons.
While both PF Blake Griffin and PG Chris Paul were held to 4-of-10 shooting on Wednesday night, SG Jamal Crawford carried the offense in his Clippers debut. He scored 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting, knocking down 3-of-7 threes and 6-of-8 from the line. Another newcomer, Willie Green, also played very well in posting a +21 rating in his 29 minutes of action. With SF Grant Hill (knee) out indefinitely, Green will be tasked with slowing down Kobe Bryant on Friday night, which will be easier than usual because of Bryant's sore foot. Former Lakers SF Matt Barnes, who was suspended for the season opener, will also guard Bryant some in his return to action on Friday. Although Paul scored just 12 points on Wednesday, he also had 12 assists, four steals and just two turnovers. His offense should return going up against Lakers backup PG Steve Blake on Friday. In 23 career games versus the Lakers, Paul has 20.2 PPG (49% FG) and 11.7 APG. Griffin also played well in the L.A. rivalry last season with 21.0 PPG and 12.3 PPG in the three meetings.
Offensively, the Lakers have been pretty potent when they don't turn the ball over, scoring 98.5 PPG on 50% FG and 36% threes. However, the team has been throwing up bricks at the foul line, making just 60% of its free throws so far. Bryant has 26.0 PPG on a stellar 62% FG, while C Dwight Howard also has 26.0 PPG on 63% FG, grabbing 12.0 RPG. PF Paul Gasol is also averaging a double-double with 19.5 PPG and 11.0 RPG, while dishing out 4.0 APG. The big men have allowed the Lakers to dominate the boards with a +11.5 RPG margin this season. With Nash likely out, Blake will handle the point, which he's done very well so far with nine assists and just one turnover. Blake will also be counted on to knock down some threes, something he's done at a 40% rate in his career versus the Clippers (26-of-65). Bryant has also shot well against the Clippers recently, scoring 30.5 PPG on 49% FG in his past 10 meetings with them. Howard has faced Griffin three times in his career, scoring 25.7 PPG with 14.0 RPG while Griffin is putting up 18.3 PPG (45.7% FG) and 12.7 RPG in these three head-to-head meetings.