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Clippers vs. Lakers Preview & Game Thread: Rivals kick off NBA restart

Tip-off is at 6 p.m. PT

Los Angeles Lakers v LA Clippers Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA is back! After a hiatus that lasted 4 1/2 months (but felt like years), basketball returns Thursday night, and so do your LA Clippers. Tonight is the first game of an eight-game stretch over the next few weeks until the playoffs kick off. The opponent? Their cross-town rivals, the Lakers.


Previous matchups

Oct. 22, 2019: Clippers 112, Lakers 102

These two teams met up on opening night, with the Clippers coming out victorious. It was a tie game entering the fourth quarter, but the Clippers’ tenacious defense limited the Lakers to only 17 points during the final quarter. Kawhi Leonard led the way, finishing as the leading scorer with 30 points. He also added six rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Dec. 25, 2019: Clippers 111, Lakers 106

Another highly-anticipated matchup, both teams met for the second time on Christmas night. After trailing by 12 points at the half, the Clippers outscored the Lakers by 17 points in the second half to pull off the come-from-behind victory. Yet again, Leonard led the way as he finished with a game-high 35 points. He also added 12 rebounds and five assists.

However, he wasn’t the MVP of the game. It was Patrick Beverley. He had a solid all-around game with eight points, nine rebounds and four assists, but it was this play at the end of the game that won the game for LA.

March 8, 2020: Lakers 112, Clippers 103

The Lakers were finally able to pull one out against the Clippers, defeating them by nine. The Clippers actually led by four points at halftime, but they were outscored by 13 points during the second half. This was known as the “Avery Bradley game,” as he finished with 24 points while knocking down six from deep. Bradley, Anthony Davis and LeBron James accounted for 82 of the Lakers’ 112 points.


Injuries/absences

Clippers

OUT: Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams

QUESTIONABLE: Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet

PROBABLE: Ivica Zubac

Lakers

OUT: Rajon Rondo

QUESTIONABLE: Anthony Davis

PROBABLE: LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

NOT WITH TEAM: Avery Bradley


Notable additions

The Lakers have made some moves since the two teams last met. They have added guards J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters.


Game info

Tip-off: 6 p.m. PT

TV: TNT, FOX Sports Prime Ticket

Lakers: -5.5

O/U: 220.5