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Clippers, Wizards Seek Strong Finish to First Half

Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers are favored on the road over the Washington Wizards.

After losing their last two games, the Clippers (24-13 SU, 20-17 ATS) and Wizards (13-20, 17-16) both promise to bring more urgency to the court tonight in their final action before the all-star break. The Clippers whipped Washington 135-116 two weeks ago in LA, improving to 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Washington Wizards
  • Date/Time: March 4, 7 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Capital One Arena
  • TV Coverage: Fox Sports Prime Ticket, NBC Sports Washington
  • Opening Odds: Clippers -6 | O/U 235.5 (Line History)
  • Clippers vs Wizards Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

It took a while for oddsmakers to post a line on this game due to the questionable status of Kawhi Leonard, who was a late scratch Tuesday with back spasms. With Leonard in the lineup, the Clippers were 12-point favorites when these teams met February 23 in LA.

Los Angeles News & Notes

According to Paul George, the Clippers won’t be looking past Washington with the all-star break on deck. “It’s a must-win game for us,” the all-star forward told the Orange County Register on Wednesday, a day after LA fell 117-112 at Boston. “We wanna … go into the break with some positive to leave off on.”

George’s sense of urgency seems warranted. Los Angeles enters Thursday’s action tied with the Lakers for third in the West after going 3-5 SU and ATS in its last eight games, and it hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record since a 116-112 victory over Utah on February 19.

If the Clippers are going to bounce back, they might have to do it without Leonard and several other regulars. As of Wednesday night, Leonard was listed as questionable due to back spasms that forced him to sit out the loss in Boston, while power forward Marcus Morris suffered a concussion Tuesday and is doubtful to suit up vs Washington. Fellow big Patrick Patterson has already been ruled out for his fifth straight contest due to personal reasons.

Washington News & Notes

The Wizards may have already been caught looking ahead to the all-star break, judging by their performance Tuesday at home against Memphis. Washington committed a season-high 22 turnovers — eight by Russell Westbrook — and went through the motions defensively, allowing Memphis to finish the first half on a 27-8 run.

Losing 125-111 at home to the Grizzlies was a bad look for a Wizards team that had played its way back into playoff contention by going 7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS in its previous nine games.

“Everybody’s so looking forward to getting out of here, doing whatever they need to do,” NBA scoring leader Bradley Beal admitted to the Washington Post. “We’ve got to make sure we’re ready to go on Thursday.”

Beal is primed for a rebound effort himself after being held to just 23 points Tuesday, nearly 10 less than his season average. Prior to the game against the Grizzlies, he had scored at least 33 points in five of his previous six games, including a 46-point outing Sunday against Boston. He also hasn’t scored less than 30 points in consecutive games since New Year’s.

Betting Pick: Clippers -6

LA is 11-5 ATS this season against sub-.500 opponents, while 11 of Washington’s last 12 losses have come by seven points or more.

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Shark Bites
  • LA is 41-17 ATS in its last 58 games following a SU loss.
  • The OVER is 12-5 in Washington’s last 17 home games.
  • LA is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games vs Washington.