Potential Play-In Tournament Preview in Los Angeles
The New Orleans Pelicans go for a fourth straight win to take another step closer to a play-in tournament berth when they take on the LA Clippers on Sunday night. New Orleans is currently ninth in the Western Conference, one game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs and two games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers in the standings. The Clippers have already clinched a play-in tournament berth but are trying to get some chemistry after the return of guard Paul George. This will be a good game, so make sure you check out our in-depth preview to help guide how you should bet online on the game.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and NBA odds for New Orleans Pelicans vs LA Clippers. We have plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Pelicans Flying High Toward Play-In Berth
The New Orleans Pelicans have the second-longest current win streak in the Western Conference, having taken three in a row after a tight victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. New Orleans rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to top Los Angeles for the second time in six days and took a major step toward a play-in tournament berth.
“It was big-time,” New Orleans head coach Willie Green said after Friday’s win. “They threw the kitchen sink at us. LeBron (James had) 38 points. Getting (Anthony) Davis back sparked their team a little bit. We just hung in there, and the game was back and forth. We have to win games like that. Been talking about it all season, and it will pay dividends down the stretch.”
New Orleans has one of the hottest scoring duos in the league in guard CJ McCollum and forward Brandon Ingram. The two combined for 61 points in Friday’s win.
McCollum came to the Pelicans at the trade deadline in a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, and he’s been a revelation since joining the team. The veteran has averaged 26.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists since coming to New Orleans while shooting 39.5% from the 3-point line.
Ingram got back in action on March 27 after missing 10 games with a hamstring injury, and he’s picked right up from where he left off, averaging 24.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in his last three contests.
Center Jonas Valenciunas has also turned it up down the stretch, averaging 20.4 points and 12.9 rebounds over his last 10 games. The 6-11 veteran can stretch his offense out to the 3-point line, helping to spread out a defense and give McCollum and Ingram room to operate.
Clippers Hoping To Repeat Playoff Run
The LA Clippers have been in a waiting game for a while to get back guard Paul George, who was out for three months with an elbow injury. George has been back for three games, and the Clippers have been lighting up the scoreboard, averaging 134.7 points per contest.
The amazing thing is that the highest point total in that stretch – 153 in a Friday night win over the Milwaukee Bucks – came with George sitting out, though it also came against a Milwaukee team giving most of its stars some rest. Forward Robert Covington had a career-high 43 points in the victory.
George should be back in the lineup for this one, bringing his 24.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.1 steals with him. George makes the Clippers a much more dangerous team when he’s hitting his outside shot, as shown by the team’s run to the Western Conference finals a season ago behind his outstanding play.
Guard Reggie Jackson is also playing at a high level, averaging 17.2 points and 4.8 assists. He was the lead man while George was sitting out, and he’ll continue to have a large role in the offense even with George on the court.
Pelicans at Clippers Head-to-Head
The New Orleans Pelicans are going for the four-game season series sweep, having already won once on the LA Clippers’ home floor. That victory came in November, and the last time these teams played was in mid-January, before the Pelicans’ acquisition of McCollum.
New Orleans is on a five-game winning streak against the Clippers, though Los Angeles had a four-game winning streak in the series prior to that. Getting George back seems to have people believing in the Clippers again, as the NBA lines give them the edge at home in this one.
Pelicans at Clippers Game Information
- Game: New Orleans Pelicans (34-43) at LA Clippers (38-40)
- Location: crypto.com Arena
- Day/Time: Sunday, 9:30 p.m. ET
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
New Orleans Pelicans at LA Clippers Betting Lines
New Orleans Pelicans at LA Clippers Prediction
The LA Clippers can’t be overlooked when they are healthy, as they are now other than the season-long absence of Kawhi Leonard, but it’s hard to see the red-hot New Orleans Pelicans being slowed down in this one. New Orleans has the firepower to get the win on the road, and we like it to complete the season series sweep in this one.
When making your NBA picks, take New Orleans to get the win on the road.