The LA Clippers have won games on this seven-game streak with most of their first-choice players playing, with none of them playing, and everything in the middle, and they get a good test ahead of the upcoming playoffs Friday with a meeting against the Philadelphia 76ers out east.
The teams played each other a little over two weeks ago, in Los Angeles, with the Clippers coming away 122-112 winners. Will history repeat itself or will Doc Rivers’ team get the win in his new home?
When: Friday, April 16 at 4 p.m. PT
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
How to watch/listen: ESPN, Bally Sports SoCal
Opposing perspective: Liberty Ballers
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers (39-18): Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac, Reggie Jackson, Paul George
Sixers (38-17): Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, Seth Curry, Ben Simmons
Clippers: Kawhi Leonard (foot) — QUESTIONABLE; Serge Ibaka (lower back), Patrick Beverley (hand) — OUT
Sixers: Tobias Harris (knee), Dwight Howard (knee) — QUESTIONABLE; George Hill (thumb) — OUT
The Clippers wrap up a three-game road trip in Philadelphia, riding high after an improbable 100-98 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. The win wasn’t improbable because the Pistons got hot, but because LA was missing their entire starting unit and went down 11 points in the 4th quarter before taking the lead with two seconds to play.
It sounds like Paul George will be back for this game after resting on Wednesday, and Marcus Morris Sr. also sounds like he’ll be in the lineup. Kawhi Leonard, who has been resting a sore foot, is a question mark, but the Clippers will likely need reinforcements if they are to go toe-to-toe against the Sixers.
Philadelphia missed Joel Embiid in the last meeting against the Clippers, but the big man is back and has been playing well lately. Expect the MVP candidate to make life very hard for Ivica Zubac, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson, with the Clippers bigs likely to be rotated throughout to try to contain the Cameroonian.
I don’t think it’s disrespectful to say the Clippers’ recent slate has not been the most challenging, and while you can only beat the teams in front of you, this game against the 76ers is a bigger challenge than what they’ve seen of late. A Friday night game in front of the national TV cameras? Here’s a big chance for Ty Lue’s crew to make a statement to the NBA.