Golden State Warriors (41-24, 20-14 away) @ Los Angeles Clippers (45-20, 27-5 home) 03/12- 10:30PM EST
Line: LAC -7.0
The Golden State Warriors will travel into Staples Center on Wednesday night to try to slow down the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers, who have won eight straight and lead the Pacific Division.
The Warriors (41-24) have been on a tear of their own, but thanks in large part to Blake Griffin, the Clippers (45-20) are enjoying their longest win streak of the season and lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 115.0 per game to bump their season average to 107.8 per contest.
Griffin, coming off a 37-point performance in a 112-105 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night has now scored at least 20 points a game over a career-high 23 games. Over that span he is now averaging 27.8 to boost his season average to 24.4 points per game.
“He is one of those players you can’t stop,” teammate Danny Granger said.
The four-time All-Star has developed his game year after year since coming into the league and everybody is taking notice.
“Blake has been doing it all year long, dominating all year long, he’s being consistent,” guard Darrin Collison said. “I think we are used to it which is a good thing. … He’s just reading the defense, if they’re pressing on him, he’s using his strength. If they’re playing off him, he’s taking that shot. He’s playing with a lot confidence right now.”
As well as the Clippers have been playing, the Warriors are right there with them having won five in a row to put themselves four games behind them in the Pacific Division and now sit three games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies for the sixth spot in the Western Conference.
Golden State took apart the Mavericks on Tuesday night winning easily 108-85 thanks in part to another great defensive performance to give themselves a bit of breathing room against the teams chasing them for a playoff spot. They held the Mavs to just 36.6 percent shooting.
“It’s a big-time win for us,” coach Mark Jackson said. “If you lose this game, then all of the sudden there’s three teams again within striking distance. I think this gave us some breathing room, especially with the fact that we have a big game (Wednesday) night against a red-hot Clippers team.”
The Warriors with their high-scoring offense combined with their stingy defense of late are winning by an average of 15.7 points over their last four games.
“It’s fun,” Golden State reserve Jordan Crawford said who put up 19 points against the Mavericks. “To be on a streak like this heading into the playoffs and to move up the standings, it brings the competitive spirit out in everybody.”
Leading scorer Stephen Curry (23.3 ppg) has been slowed down offensively as he tries to play through a quadriceps injury averaging only 14.8 points during their winning streak.
With the final clash of these two teams for the regular-season on Wednesday night, there is no love-lost between them, so expect a high intensity game and perhaps some chippiness. Both teams are on fire, but oddsmakers are giving the home town Clippers a big (minus 7-0) point edge but stay up-to-date on the latest spread as game time approaches right here at Wonder Punter.
Golden State has won seven of the last ten against the Clippers but have dropped six of eight at Staples Center and playing in the second of a back-to-back I favor the Clippers to win a good one to increase their lead in the Pacific Division.
Prediction/Pick- Los Angeles
By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter