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Clippers to Lean on Home-Court Edge

Jazz Hold 2-1 Series Lead

The Los Angeles Clippers are on the board and will look to even the series at 2-2 against the Utah Jazz on Monday.

It was a must-win game for the Clippers, who got excellent production from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The superstar duo combined for 65 points and a similar effort could be needed again.

Rudy Gobert battles Nicolas Batum Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Clippers Picks
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

The online sportsbook has the Clippers as favorites to tie it up, which could be in part due to Donovan Mitchell’s injury.

All-Stars Stand Up

It was only a matter of time before Leonard and George showed up in the West Semifinals. With the Clippers’ backs against the wall, they had 34 and 31 points respectively.

Leonard went 14-24 with 12 rebounds, and although shooting only 1-6 from the three, he was an effective scorer. George went 12-24, but 6-10 from the three.

“We know that they are two of the best in the league,” coach Tyronn Lue told ESPN. “Like I said yesterday, I don’t go to Mastro’s to order the ketchup. I go to order the steak. And tonight, our guys want steak. That’s what we need.”

It was a much-needed victory and playing at STAPLES Center could have been the catalyst to success. Home teams have a good record in the playoffs, but Utah coach Quin Sydner believes the Clippers showed more will to win.

“I’ve said it the last two games as well. Kawhi and PG, they’re capable of really making plays and they made plays for other people. There’s going to be times where it’s tough to stop them from making shots,” Snyder said. “Some of the breakdowns and the cleaner looks that they get, particularly tonight I thought in transition when we attacked the basket there’s got to be an urgency to recognize that situation and really get back and show a crowd where they don’t have clear lanes to the basket.”

NBA betting markets expect another big performance from the duo. The Clippers are -200 to win, which is a short moneyline price.

Mitchell Ready to Return

There was cause for concern when Donovan Mitchell tweaked his ankle in the first quarter, but he’ll be good to go for Game Four.

The Jazz superstar told the media he was fine to come back into the game, but given the score situation, he opted to stay off the court.

“I feel like I was able to go back, but no need to risk it down 16, 18 at that point,” Mitchell said. “It doesn’t make sense to go back out there and possibly tweak it. Just rest and get ready for the next game.

Utah needs Mitchell to be at his best for a chance to win the series. He comes off a 30-point performance where he went 11-24. Of the starters, he had the best plus/minus, which isn’t surprising.

Joe Ingles had a good game with 19 points, but Bojan Bogdanovic had just nine points and Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson went 5-16 off the bench.

Bettors get value odds for Utah to take a 3-1 lead. However, winning in Los Angeles won’t be easy. Allowing 132 points is a huge concern and with the Clippers confidence rising, they could be in for another tough defensive performance.

Despite losing on Saturday, Utah is 9-4 against the spread in the last 13 meetings in Los Angeles.

The Jazz are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. They are 5-1 playing on one days’ rest, but they’re just 2-11 ATS in the last 13 road games vs a team with a winning home record.

That’s the most concerning betting trend for the Jazz. However, the Clippers are 2-4 ATS in their last six home games.

Over is 7-1 in Utah’s last seven games and 6-2 in the last eight road games.

Jazz vs Clippers Pick

Utah can’t be overlooked as a winning chance, but we’re picking the Los Angeles Clippers to tie the series in front of their home crowd.

They should be brimming with confidence after the big Game Three win and playing at home could be enough to see this series turned on its head.

The Clippers found their best basketball when they needed to. Losing Game Four would be a disaster with the series heading back to Utah, so it’s another must-win game and they should get it done.

Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -4½ (-110)

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