Preview: Orlando At L.A. Clippers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 5, 2015
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Clippers figure to be without their starting backcourt when they host the Orlando Magic on Saturday. Point guard Chris Paul is expected to miss his second straight game with a rib injury while shooting guard J.J. Redick sprained his right ankle during Wednesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers feels there’s a chance Redick can play against Orlando and said the sharpshooter certainly won’t be facing a long absence. “That doesn’t mean he doesn’t miss some games, or he may play the next game,” Rivers said after the contest. “He tried to give it a go at halftime. He just didn’t feel like he could do it. The good news there is if he’s trying to do it, that means it’s not awful.” The Magic are riding a five-game winning streak – their best stretch since Jan. 2012 – and have opened a five-game road trip with consecutive wins at Minnesota and Utah. Forward Tobias Harris led the way with 17 points in Thursday’s 103-94 victory over the Jazz.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (11-8): Orlando won 25 or fewer games in each of the past three seasons but is thriving under first-year coach Scott Skiles due to a teamwork-oriented approach. That element was on display during Thursday’s victory as six players scored between 14 and 17 points. “That’s the name of the game,” Harris told reporters. “That is how our team is kind of built, everyone chipping in and really playing their part, playing their role.”
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (10-9): Underachieving Lance Stephenson received 28 minutes of playing time with Redick injured and scored a season-best 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. The output was partially influenced by his motivation to succeed against the Pacers – one of his former teams – and there’s no telling whether or not he can follow up the strong effort. Stephenson has scored in double digits just three times this season while averaging 5.7 points.
1. The Clippers won last season’s two meetings by an average of 26 points.
2. Orlando backup PF Andrew Nicholson is averaging 14.3 points on 18-of-30 shooting over the past three games.
3. Los Angeles PF Blake Griffin had 19 points on 6-of-18 shooting against Indiana to end a streak of four straight 20-point outings.
PREDICTION: Clippers 100, Magic 93