The LA Clippers nearly came back to beat the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday but their rally attempt came up short. As we know in this busy season, they get an immediate attempt to turn the page, when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves to wrap up the weekend’s slate around the NBA on Sunday night.
When: Sunday, April 18 at 7 p.m. PT
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
How to watch/listen: NBA TV, Bally Sports SoCal
Opposing perspective: Canis Hoopus
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers (39-19): Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac, Reggie Jackson, Paul George
Timberwolves (15-42): Josh Okogie, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, Ricky Rubio
Clippers: Kawhi Leonard (foot) — QUESTIONABLE; Serge Ibaka (lower back), Patrick Beverley (hand) — OUT
Timberwolves: Jalen Nowell (leg) — DOUBTFUL; Malik Beasley (hamstring) — OUT
The Clippers’ seven-game winning streak was snapped by the 106-103 loss in Philly, but they had a chance to tie it up at the buzzer, with Marcus Morris Sr’s 3-point attempt just off the mark. I think any team would take seven out of eight games won, however, and they’ve had a real ability to battle back in games where they look like they’re down and out this season, finding wins more often than teams normally do.
One can wonder if that penchant will be beneficial in the playoffs — you win any way you can, but will playoff opponents be as willing to let teams come back into the game and flip the outcome? — but it has been nice to see pretty much every member of the Clippers roster step up and make a real contribution over the past month. You never know who may be counted on come playoff time.
Minnesota grabbed a win in their last outing, against the Miami Heat, but they’ve struggled quite a lot this season. You never know when a team is up for it, of course, but the T-Wolves seem like they are getting closer to playing out the string this season at this point.
It seems possible that Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will play in this game, but given Ty Lue’s rotation of late to give the stars rest when they’re a bit battered, I wouldn’t be shocked if one or both stars take a night off. Unless or until both players are fully healthy, they’re likely going to get some nights off when they need to, and this could be another game where Lue risks sitting a star or two. Hey, it’s worked so far lately, we’ll see how they do against Minnesota in this game.