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Clippers vs. Celtics preview and game thread: LA aim to keep on rolling back at home

Clips aim to keep pace at top of Western Conference.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a road trip that saw them go a respectable 4-2, the LA Clippers are back home and on Friday, they’ll host the Boston Celtics for the teams’ first meeting of the season.

LA’s been on a roll for the most part this season, and will want to keep their momentum going in February before the All-Star Break approaches.

Game Information:

When: Friday, Feb. 5 at 7:00 p.m. PT

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles

How to watch/listen: ESPN/Fox Sports West, AM 570 Radio

Opposing perspective: CelticsBlog

Projected Starting Lineups:

Clippers (17-6): Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka

Celtics (11-9): Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis, Tristan Thompson, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker


Clippers: Patrick Beverley (knee), Jay Scrubb (foot) — OUT

Celtics: Marcus Smart (calf), Tacko Fall (ankle), Romeo Langford (wrist) — OUT; Jaylen Brown (knee), Payton Pritchard (knee) — QUESTIONABLE

The Clippers closed out their road swing with a back-to-back against the Brooklyn Netswhere they narrowly lost on Tuesday — and the Cleveland Cavalierswho they beat pretty handily on Wednesday. There do not appear to be any lasting injuries picked up on the road trip, and Paul George told reporters the road trip was a good bonding experience for the team, something that has knitted together many a team over the years.

Their opponent, still led by head coach Brad Stevens, is in 4th place in a tightly-packed Eastern Conference at present, their record just over .500. Jayson Tatum continues to be their key player, with Jaylen Brown off to a solid start as well this season, although he’s been hampered by injuries lately.

The Celtics split a NorCal back-to-back earlier this week, beating the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday but losing to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. You might say the loss is a bit glaring considering the Kings, but Sacramento have actually been on a hot streak lately.

So this should be a decent matchup. I think the Clippers will like their chances but the Celtics have the personnel to make it tough and to win themselves. Should be a good test for both teams here.

You can listen to an in-depth preview of the Celtics matchup with Adam Taylor of Celtics Blog below. For more Clippers talk, subscribe to the Clips Nation podcast feed on iTunes or Spotify.