Fresh off two road wins in the midwest last week, the LA Clippers are set to open a six-game homestand at Staples Center Sunday evening, when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers for the teams’ second meeting already this month.
While the Clippers are picking up wins more often than not, the Cavaliers are getting mired in a losing streak, which currently stands at six games.
When: Sunday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. PT
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles
How to watch/listen: Prime Ticket, AM 570 Radio
Opposing perspective: Fear the Sword
Projected Starting Lineups:
Clippers (19-8): Reggie Jackson, Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka
Cavs (10-17): Isaac Okoro, Taurean Prince, Andre Drummond, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland
Clippers: Paul George (foot) — OUT
Cavaliers: Larry Nance Jr. (finger), Kevin Love (calf), Matthew Dellavedova (back) — OUT
The Clippers took care of business with a fairly routine win over the Chicago Bulls in Illinois on Friday, Kawhi Leonard scoring a season-high of 36 points and the available players overall putting in a balanced performance.
Paul George is ruled out for this game, as the star’s foot injury continues to keep him out of action, his projected return remaining TBD.
While guards Luke Kennard and Reggie Jackson run hot and cold game to game, Patrick Beverley’s intangibles have lifted the team the last two games since his own return from injury. And Lou Williams seems to be finding his form of late, while Marcus Morris Sr. very quietly had a stellar 4th quarter against the Bulls to close out the game.
LA will have to like their chances against the Cavaliers, who have lost six in a row against a tough slate — road games against the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns, back-to-back home losses against the Milwaukee Bucks, and the home loss against the Clippers on Feb. 3 — and are sinking in the Eastern Conference.
But with the expanded playoff play-in format this year, despite sitting in 13th place in the East the Cavs remain very much in touching distance of the pack, and we’ve occasionally seen this team, featuring big man Andre Drummond and guard Collin Sexton, light it up, so they do have it in them at times. It’ll be interesting to see which version of both teams shows up for what looks like a pretty clear outcome on paper.