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10:00PM EST: LA Clippers -7.5 (2 Units)
The Clippers are starting to play some better basketball. They're 7-3 over their last 10 Games and they've appeared to have finally fit James Harden in. The Beard's been hot over the last 4 clippers Games. He's 27/51 from the Field and 14/28 from deep while averaging 21.25 points per game. His assist numbers steadily climbing is the most intriguing, he's averaging 8.25 assists per game over the last 4 but only 6.7 on the season. You can clearly see a more comfortable Harden and Clippers team when he's on the floor compared to when the season began.
They take on a Utah Jazz defense that is tied for 26th in defensive efficiency with the Spurs. It is the worst defense the Clippers have this season. They did play a back-to-back against the Spurs earlier this year and won both games by a combined 32 points. This gives the LAC offense and team a chance to really keep rolling. They're coming off a big 9-point win over a fully healthy Nuggets team. It's the first time they've beaten Denver following 8 straight losses.
Their defense has never faltered this season. They rank 6th in defensive efficiency and Utah's without their leading scorer. Markkanen went down with a Hamstring injury on November 22nd and has been out ever since. Even their 2nd leading scored Jordan Clarkson is banged up. He hasn't played in their last 3 contests but is probable for tonight. Either way he's not exactly 100%.
The one thing Utah was supposed to be able to do was score points. Their defense was never going to be great, but they also rank 26th in offensive efficiency. All around they've just consistently played poor basketball and it's why they're just 7-14 on the young season. The Clippers roll should continue barring the big game hangover. They also play the Trailblazers so there's no look ahead. At 10-10 the Clippers need to start winning the games they're supposed to win if they want to start climbing the Western standings and they match-up well tonight.