Just one night after dropping a hard-fought contest to the Brooklyn Nets, the LA Clippers will travel to Ohio to take on Collin Sexton and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavs have been one of the surprise teams in the Eastern Conference this season, going 10-11 through their first 21 games — including big wins over the Nets (twice) and the Philadelphia 76ers.
The group is led by Sexton, a third-year guard who is averaging a team-best 24.1 points per game and connecting on 43.5% of his three-point attempts. Other key players include Andre Drummond (league-best 15.1 rebounds per game this season) and Darius Garland, who round out Cleveland's top-scoring trio.
However, it hasn't been Cleveland's offense that's been impressive this year. While this team has proven to be capable of running the score up now and then, defense has been their true calling card. The Cavs have the seventh-best defensive rating in the league and allow the seventh-fewest points per game at 108.1.
Cleveland has done especially well when it comes to limiting free-throw attempts and forcing turnovers, though they haven't been great when it comes to converting those extra opportunities.
The Clippers, on the other hand, have been stellar on both ends of the floor. LA has the second-best offensive rating in the league and is scoring roughly 115 points per game, which has helped the team win 16 of its first 22 contests. And while LA does have a middling defensive rating, this group has improved significantly on that end of the floor since the season began.
Ultimately, though, this game should come down to the talent disparity between these two teams. Cleveland may have an above-average defense, but the team lacks a wing stopper that can contain the likes of Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. It's not exactly a coincidence that Leonard dropped a season-high 43 points in 29 minutes in his last outing with the Cavaliers in January 2020.
Some fatigue could set in with this being the second night of a back-to-back and the final contest of a six-game road trip, but this is one that the Clippers should be able to wrap up with ease.
How to Watch
Matchup: LA Clippers (16-6) at Cleveland Cavaliers (10-11)
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 3
Time: 5:00 p.m. PT
Venue: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Broadcast Information: NBA League Pass
Spread: Clippers -8
Moneyline: Cavaliers +260, Clippers -320
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook