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GAME PREVIEW: Clippers Visit 76ers, Continue Playoff Push

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Los Angeles seeks to redeem themselves from an early season loss to Philadelphia.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Clippers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers will continue their playoff push and fight for draft positioning against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday afternoon on the road at the Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers have won the past two meetings between the franchises, after losing 12 of the previous 14 contests.

THE GAME

When: Saturday, February 10, 2017 — 4:00 p.m. (PT)

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket

Radio: AM 570 L.A. Sports

PROBABLE STARTERS

Clippers: Avery Bradley, DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers, Danilo Gallinari, Tobias Harris

76ers: Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid

INJURIES

Clippers:

Patrick Beverley (knee) OUT

Jawun Evans (sore lower abdominal) OUT

Milos Teodosic (foot) QUESTIONABLE

76ers:

Markelle Fultz (shoulder) OUT

THE BIG PICTURE:

The Los Angeles Clippers continue to make a viable playoff run with their rag tag band of misfits. On Friday, the Clippers defeated a solid Detroit Pistons team 108-95, lifting them to 28-25. In conjunction with losses by New Orleans Pelicans and Denver Nuggets, the victory moved the Clippers into 7th place in the Western Conference.

Having recently signed a multi-year contract extension freeing him from the stress of a possible trade, Lou Williams returned to an all-star level of play, scoring a game-high 26 points – including 20 in the second half - for Los Angeles. Williams also had 6 assists in the outing.

The Pistons game also marked the return of feisty Clips Nation favorite Austin Rivers. Rivers missed the last 18 games with an ankle injury, but did not look any worse for the wear. It took a few minutes to shake off the dust, but Rivers had a solid game, finishing with an efficient 16 points and 5 assists while filling in for the again-injured Milos Teodosic.

Montrezl Harrell also had a banner game against the Pistons, scoring 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting in 19 minutes. His contributions to the Clippers this season have been immeasurable.

Saturday’s game is the second regular season match-up between the Clippers and the 76ers. Philadelphia won the first contest back in November, 109-105.

THE ANTAGONIST:

The 76ers are on a roll; playing some of their best ball of the season. They soundly defeated the Pelicans 100-82 on Friday, winning their sixth straight game at home and improving to 27-25. Joel Embiid scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the win, and Dario Saric added 24 points, including four 3-pointers.

Last time the Clippers and 76ers met, Embiid was playing next level basketball. In his 36 minutes on the floor, the 76ers beat the Clippers by 23 points. Embiid finished with 32 points and 16 rebounds in the contest. The Clippers had difficulty containing the powerful center, even when utilizing utilizing aggressive double-teams. DeAndre Jordan had particular difficulties. The Clippers athletic big man struggled with Embiid’s physical play and fouled out with a dismal 2 points, 5 rebounds and 3 turnovers in the fourth quarter.

Injuries may be an issue for Philadelphia in this particular game. After Philadelphia’s win against the Pelicans Friday, Embiid reported that his ankle was feeling sore. His ability to suit up Saturday may be in question. Additionally, the 76ers number one draft pick Markelle Fultz will not play, and may not even return at all this season, according to 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo.

THE PREDICTION:

If Embiid does not suit up, the Clippers take this one fairly easy. If Embiid does suit up, Jordan, Harrell and Danilo Gallinari will have their hands full. However, given how the trio handled Blake Griffin Friday night – limiting him to a relatively meh 19 points on 7-for-19 shooting – the Clippers may still walk away with the win.