Los Angeles looks to Paul yet again
Chris Paul’s accustomed to carrying a big load for the Clippers. With sidekick Blake Griffin nursing a sore right knee, though, Thursday’s meeting with the Pelicans required a little something extra.
Never one to disappoint, the nine-time All-Star delivered arguably his finest performance in a Los Angeles uniform, scoring 20 points and dishing out 20 assists while committing no turnovers in a 133-105 triumph. He’ll try to terrorize Portland similarly this evening. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Doc Rivers’ host team odds of -550 to emerge victorious. Conversely, the Trail Blazers enter Staples Center as +375 underdogs.
Now in his 12th year in the NBA, Paul continues to refine his game. He averages a league-leading 2.50 steals per tilt and trails only Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant in usage rate. Of course, the Wake Forest product won’t object to having No. 32 back in the mix shortly. The Griffin-DeAndre Jordan tandem could utterly destroy Rip City’s Al-Farouq Aminu-less frontcourt.
As usual, Portland’s success will hinge on the effectiveness of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The two guards combined for 67 points vs. Indiana over the weekend. Alas, the Pacers still pulled out a 118-111 win. Terry Stotts’ crew has suddenly dropped three in a row.
We rarely go against the Blazers’ perimeter powerhouses. Yet the Clips’ ever-growing defensive prowess may cause Lillard and McCollum some trouble here. Lean toward Paul & Co. to improve to 9-4 at home.
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