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Clippers, Nuggets May Stay Conservative In Penultimate Games

Nuggets vs Clippers Betting Odds August 12, 2020 Michael Porter Jr. driving to the basket

The Clippers can clinch the second seed in the Western Conference when they face a Denver Nuggets squad that seems more concerned about remaining healthy for the postseason. Denver has won five of the last seven matchups, but LA routed the Nuggets 132-103 in the most recent meeting.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Denver Nuggets
  • Date/Time: August 12, 9 p.m. ET
  • Arena: The Arena (WWOS)
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Clippers -4.5 | O/U N/A (Line History)
  • Clippers vs Nuggets Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Los Angeles has been a fantastic team to back coming off a loss this season, going 19-6 ATS. The Nuggets have lost six of their last seven games as an underdog, although they earned a point-spread cover in Monday’s loss to the Lakers.

Los Angeles News & Notes

The Clippers’ three-point defense has struggled in the bubble, a trend that continued in Sunday’s 129-120 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn hit 20 of its 43 attempts from behind the arc, marking the fourth straight game in which LA has allowed at least 17 successful treys.

The Clippers defense was lit up inside the perimeter in the opening quarter as well, allowing Brooklyn to score 45 points on 85.7 percent shooting (18-for-21) as LA went OVER the total for the fourth time in five games.

Los Angeles sat Paul George against Brooklyn in the second leg of a back-to-back, after Kawhi Leonard skipped the previous day’s 122-117 win over Portland. Clippers coach Doc Rivers has suggested to reporters that his two stars will play together at least one more time in the bubble, and the Clippers will conclude their seeding game schedule Friday against OKC.

The Clips may also be motivated to lock up the second seed in the West, something they can accomplish with a victory over the third-place Nuggets. Patrick Beverley won’t suit up once again for LA, however, as he nurses a left calf strain.

Denver News & Notes

Even though his team was tied with the Western Conference top-seeded Lakers through three quarters on Monday, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone pulled his starters and relied on his bench for the rest of the game.

Mason Plumlee, P.J. Dozier, Keita Bates-Diop, Monte Morris and rookie Bol Bol played the final 14 minutes of the contest — and Denver still nearly pulled off the upset, losing 124-121 on a Kyle Kuzma three with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.

The Nuggets’ conservative approach with their top players is nothing new. Shooting guards Gary Harris and Will Barton have yet to see action in the bubble as they deal with injuries, and small forward Jerami Grant missed Monday’s contest with a sore right knee. Don’t be surprised if Malone limits his starters’ minutes again against the Clippers, even if the outcome is still in question.

Betting Pick: Clippers -4.5

Coming off a loss, Los Angeles likely brings strong focus here in an attempt to lock up second and allow itself to rest starters in Friday’s bubble finale. Meanwhile, Denver doesn’t seem to care about the outcome.

Shark Bites
  • The OVER has hit in every Nuggets game in the bubble.
  • Michael Porter Jr. is averaging 23.8 PPG in the bubble.
  • The Clippers are 4-2 ATS in 6 bubble games.