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Clippers Look to Continue Recent Success in Miami

The Heat’s sparkling 20-1 record at home will be put to the test Friday when Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers visit South Beach for a national TV showdown. LA has won four of its last five visits to Miami, holding the Heat under 100 points in each of those contests.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Miami Heat
  • Date/Time: January 24, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena
  • TV Coverage: ESPN, SUN, PRIME, TSN
  • Opening Odds: Heat -2.5 / O/U 215.5
  • Clippers vs Heat Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The uncertain status of Miami starters Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic prevented most sportsbooks from posting a line by Thursday night. LA is 5-1 ATS in its last six games at Miami — including three underdog covers.

Los Angeles News & Notes

LA should be in bounce-back mode after blowing a 21-point lead in a 102-95 loss Wednesday at Atlanta. Playing their second road game in as many nights and without Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley, the Clippers managed just 35 points in the second half and missed 13 of their last 15 three-point attempts. Meanwhile, Atlanta knocked down 10 of 23 treys en route to 61 second-half points despite playing without leading scorer Trae Young.

“You could see us kind of relaxing,” head coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “In the first five minutes of the third quarter, we missed assignment after assignment, we missed guys open, we stopped moving the ball.”

Leonard, who has scored 30 or more points in six straight outings, is expected back in the lineup after sitting out Wednesday to rest. That policy of Leonard not playing consecutive games is apparently starting to ruffle the feathers of teammates, with reports surfacing this week about complaints about preferential treatment being given to Leonard and George.

Speaking of George, he’ll sit out his eighth consecutive game Friday after aggravating his hamstring injury earlier this week in practice.

Miami News & Notes

The Heat blew a 21-point lead of their own on Wednesday, but unlike the Clippers, Miami was still able to recover and pull out the victory. After seeing a 69-50 halftime lead turn into a late three-point deficit, the Heat got a game-tying three-pointer from James Johnson in the final minute before pulling away again in overtime. Miami’s now 8-0 in overtime games this year.

“I think we just turn it up to another level,” said Tyler Herro, who set a team rookie record with seven triples.

Miami’s perfect OT record wasn’t the only recent trend that continued on Wednesday. The Heat, who improved to 20-1 SU (14-6-1 ATS) at AmericanAirlines Arena this year, have now gone OVER the total in seven of their last nine games and in 15 of their last 20.

They’re also banged up. As of Thursday night, Jimmy Butler (knee), Goran Dragic (calf) and Kendrick Dunn (Achilles) were all officially listed as questionable for the showdown against the Clippers. Butler and Dragic combined for 46 points and 20 assists on Wednesday.

Betting Pick: Clippers +2.5

I’ll grab the points in a contest that I expect to go down to the wire.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the Clippers’ last 6 road games.
  • The Heat are 20-1 SU and 14-6-1 ATS this season at home.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of the Heat’s last 9 games vs the Clippers.