The LA Clippers will square off against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, in a matchup that will go a long way in determining how the Western Conference playoff bracket will shake out.
As it stands now, the Clippers sit as the no. 3 seed with a record of 43-20, one game behind the 43-18 Phoenix Suns. A win tonight would tie the two teams, though the Suns would still have a slightly higher win percentage due to fewer games played. The Clippers also already hold the tie-breaker over the Suns, having won their first two matchups.
The no. 1 seed is also not out of reach for either team. The Utah Jazz sit at 44-17, a game ahead of the Suns and two games ahead of the Clippers. The Jazz do have the lowest strength of schedule of the three teams according to Tankathon, (Phoenix has the toughest), but it is not impossible for LA to vault up to the top of the Western Conference. The play-in tournament complicates the playoff picture immensely, as the no. 1 and no. 2 seeds will not know who they are playing among the 7-10 seeds until after the tournament is completed.
As for the game itself, Kawhi Leonard has been listed as doubtful to play due to the sore right foot that has kept him sidelined for seven of the Clippers’ last eight games. Patrick Beverley (fractured hand) and Serge Ibaka (lower back tightness) remain out, and Nicolas Batum (right shoulder strain) and Amir Coffey (tailbone contusion) have been listed as questionable to play.
Paul George is good to go barring any game-time scratch, as he was not listed on the Clippers’ injury report. It seems the ankle that he rolled in LA’s previous game against the Pelicans isn’t bothering him too much. George has been excellent against the Suns this season, averaging 36 points per game over the first two contests.
For Phoenix, Dario Saric (left ankle injury) and Jae Crowder (right ankle sprain) have both been listed as questionable. Other than that, the Suns are healthy and ready to take on their Pacific Division rival. Chris Paul and Devin Booker are the heads of the snake—limiting their midrange shooting and blowing up their pick-and-roll schemes will be crucial if the Clippers hope to win.
How to Watch
Matchup: LA Clippers (43-20) at Phoenix Suns (43-18)
Date: Wednesday, April 28
Time: 7:00 p.m. PST
Venue: PHX Arena
Spread: Clippers +4
Moneyline: Suns -174, Clippers +146
Point Total: O/U 221.5
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook