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Clippers - Warriors Preview: Third Time's a Charm?

After two back and heart-breaking losses to the hated Dubs earlier in the season, can a short-handed Clippers squad get a bit of redemption?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
2015-16 NBA Regular Season
Golden State Warriors (48-5)

Los Angeles Clippers (38-18)
February 20, 2016 — 5:30 PM PST
STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, CA
Win-Loss Breakdown ('15-'16)
48-5 Record 38-18
19-2 East 20-6
29-3 West 18-12
12-0 Division 5-4
24-0 Home 18-8
24-4 Road 18-10
21-2 .500+ 14-12
27-2 .500– 22-6
3-0 OT 4-1
9-1 L10 8-2
Projected Starters
Steph Curry PG Chris Paul
Klay Thompson SG JJ Redick
Harrison Barnes SF Luc Mbah a Moute
Draymond Green PF Paul Pierce
Andrew Bogut C DeAndre Jordan
Efficiency Stats ('15-'16)
102.12 (2nd of 30) Pace 98.20 (13th of 30)
113.1 (1st of 30) OffRtg 106.2 (5th of 30)
99.2 (2nd of 30) DefRtg 100.8 (7th of 30)
13.9 (1st of 30) NetRtg 5.5 (5th of 30)
Injury Report
Festus Ezeli (knee) Questionable Blake Griffin (hand) out

Austin Rivers (hand) out

Slaying the Beast — The Clippers had the Warriors on the ropes both times they played this season. And in each game, the Warriors came back to win, one loss more heartbreaking than the last. The Clippers have shown that they are capable of playing with the hated foes from the North, they just need to show that they can keep it together down the stretch. If a short-handed Clippers team can defeat the defending champs in a tight game, it is sure to bolster their confidence come playoff time - when the stakes are raised. However, if the Clippers once again build a lead and choke it away - it would be hard for those thoughts not to linger in the back of their minds going forward.

Bye Bye Lance, hello Jeff — As most of you heard, the Clippers traded Lance Stephenson for Jeff Green at the deadline. Tonight will be the first time that we see Green in a Clippers uniform. It's hard to have high expectations for Green, though he will likely see more floor time than Lance. Doc does have a history with Green, so he probably has a bit more trust in him than he did Stephenson. Green will play a role spelling Paul Pierce and Luc Mbah a Moute.

Start Fast — The Clippers will be playing for a national audience as this will be the ABC Saturday night showcase game. Whether that is a good or bad thing remains to be seen. If they come out playing as poorly as they did against the Spurs on Thursday, it could lead to an embarrassing loss. The Clippers have been outplayed dow the stretch against the Warriors so they need to have the early advantage. The Warriors will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back,after playing in Portland last night,  so there is a chance they may not have the energy in their reserves to mount a late game comeback.

The Line

Warriors -4 (105)

Clippers +4 (115)

For the Warriors' perspective on tonight's game, check out our SB Nation sister blog, Golden State of Mind. If you comment there, please be respectful.