The Chicago Bulls try to bounce back from a road loss when they take on the red-hot LA Clippers on Sunday night. The opening tip for this contest is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
The Bulls are coming off a 119-93 loss to the Golden State Warriors, snapping their two-game losing streak. Chicago is 8-4 and in first place in the Central Division by percentage points over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Los Angeles has won seven straight, including a 129-102 rout of the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. The Clippers are 8-4 and in third place in the Pacific Division, a half-game behind the second-place Phoenix Suns and three games behind the first-place Warriors, each of whom has also won seven in a row.
If you are going to bet online on this game, the NBA lines have the Clippers are four-point favorites, with the over/under set at 219 points. If you’re betting on the moneyline, you’ll find Los Angeles at -175, while Chicago is listed at +155.
The Bulls are on the second of a five-game West Coast road trip, which will also have them facing the Lakers, Trail Blazers, and Nuggets before they return home. Chicago is 3-2 on the road but this will be a difficult trip.
Guard Zach LaVine leads the Bulls with 25.7 points per game, ranking sixth in the league in scoring, and he’s been hot from 3-point range of late, hitting 4-of-6 over the last two games after an 0-of-4 showing against Brooklyn on Monday. LaVine has also shot over 55% from the field in each of his last three games.
The second half of Chicago’s high-scoring duo is forward DeMar DeRozan, who is averaging 25.3 points in his first season with the Bulls. DeRozan hasn’t hit the 20-point mark in the last two games, but he’s averaged 5.5 assists a game in that span.
Chicago is missing a big piece of its front line, as center Nikola Vucevic is out after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. He’s averaging 13.6 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists a game this season.
The Clippers aren’t making up ground in the Pacific Division, but they’ve been one of the hottest teams in the league over the last couple of weeks. Playing four straight games at home has certainly helped, but so has the team play of Los Angeles, which continued on Saturday against Minnesota with 35 assists on 53 made baskets.
“It was an all-around team win,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said after Saturday’s win. “Everybody did their part.”
Doing his part as usual was guard Paul George, who had 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists. George has been at his best in the early part of the season, helping Los Angeles stay in contention despite Kawhi Leonard being sidelined with a knee injury. George is averaging 26.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists.
But as stated before, this has been a team effort. Seven different Clippers are scoring in double figures, and the defense has been solid, holding teams to 103.6 points per game, good for fifth in the NBA.
Clippers Earn Win
Chicago would be a good pick in this game if it was at full strength, but playing without Vucevic, who can help run the offense at times from the high post, is going to hurt. The Clippers are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, and that will continue with their eighth straight win.
When doing your NBA betting, take the Clippers to win and cover at home.