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Bounce Back Spot for Both Clippers, Pelicans

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers looks to shoot against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first quarter of the game at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex.

The Pelicans and Clippers both look to rebound from tough opening-game losses when they continue the NBA seeding round Saturday in Orlando. LA has already locked up a playoff spot, while New Orleans enters play four games out of the final post-season berth in the West.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Los Angeles Clippers
  • Date/Time: August 1, 6 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: HP Field House
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Clippers -5.5 | O/U 226.5 (Line History)
  • Pelicans vs Clippers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

This point spread has bounced back and forth since opening at Los Angeles -5.5, with the line hitting as high as -6 and as low as -4 at some shops. The total of 226.5 is the lowest the Pelicans have seen in one of their games since a Jan. 16 contest against Utah.

New Orleans News & Notes

The Pelicans squandered a chance to gain ground in the playoff race Thursday, blowing a 16-point lead and losing 106-104 to the Jazz. Rookie phenom Zion Williamson was on the bench for the final eight minutes of regulation as head coach Alvin Gentry adhered to a tight minutes restriction. Williamson, who left the bubble for a family emergency and didn’t play in any scrimmages, scored 13 points in just 15 minutes of action.

Gentry was criticized for not using Williamson more with the Pelicans’ playoff hopes hanging in the balance, but the veteran head coach pointed the finger around the locker room. “I don’t think it should have come (down to the dying seconds),” Gentry told the Associated Press. “We let a golden opportunity slip away.” New Orleans’ interior defense struggled badly against the Jazz, allowing 54 points in the paint, while the Pelicans shot themselves in the foot offensively with 20 turnovers.

Los Angeles News & Notes

The Clippers also let a double-digit lead slip away Thursday, falling 103-101 on LeBron James’ tie-breaking putback with 12.8 seconds left to go. Paul George missed a potential game-winning three at the buzzer, blemishing an impressive performance by the six-time All-Star. George scored 30 points on 11 of 17 shooting from the field (including six of 11 from behind the arc) while teammate Kawhi Leonard added 28. “It was a good game,” Leonard told the Associated Press. “Still had fun out there. It was great to be back on the floor.”

Head coach Doc Rivers was probably less entertained by the result, especially after seeing his team get outscored 29-14 off turnovers and 40-24 in the paint. Rivers has a tendency to get his team’s attention following a subpar performance, with LA covering 20 of its last 26 games following a loss.

However, lack of depth remains a concern for the Clips with Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell ruled out once again for Saturday. LA was outscored 35-23 in the opening quarter Thursday after Leonard was forced to the bench early with two quick fouls, and only five Clippers finished the contest with more than five points.

Betting Pick: OVER 226.5

Two of the three games between these teams so far this season flew OVER the total by 26+ points.

Shark Bites
  • The Pelicans are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against the Clippers.
  • The Clippers are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games following a loss.
  • The OVER is 4-1 in the Pelicans’ last five games against the Clippers.