The Golden State Warriors try to extend their six-game winning streak when they take on the division rival LA Clippers on Sunday afternoon. The opening tip is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Golden State is coming off a 118-103 rout of the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, its third straight win by 15 points or more. The Warriors are 17-2 and in first place in the Pacific Division, leading the second-place Phoenix Suns by a half-game.
The Clippers defeated the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, their fourth straight game alternating between wins and losses. Los Angeles is 11-8 and in third place in the Pacific Division, trailing the second-place Suns by 5½ games and leading the fourth-place Los Angeles Lakers by two games.
If you want to bet online on this contest, the NBA lines have the Warriors as three-point favorites on the road, with the over/under set at 215 points. If you’re making a moneyline bet, you can get Golden State at 150, with Los Angeles listed at +130.
Continuing to Roll
The Warriors’ win over Portland matched the team’s 17-2 start to the 2014-15 season, which ended with them winning the NBA title. The team’s best start since the 2015-16 season — which saw Golden State begin with 24 straight victories — has the team focused but also having fun.
“Our guys are enjoying every bit of it,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after Friday’s win. “You’ve gotta enjoy it, especially with what we’ve been through the past couple years.”
Clearly enjoying himself on the floor so far this season has been guard Stephen Curry, who had 32 points to lead the team in Friday’s win. Curry is second in the NBA with 28.4 points per game, while also averaging 5.8 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 41.7% from 3-point range.
Forward Draymond Green is the other holdover from those title-winning teams, and he’s been playing at his best as well. The 31-year-old is putting up 8.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game while serving as the catalyst for the team on both ends of the floor.
Until Klay Thompson is ready to return after a two-year absence from the court, forward Andrew Wiggins has stepped into the second-leading scorer role for Golden State. He’s averaging 19.4 points per game and will need to have a good game against a Clippers team sure to focus on stopping Curry.
The Clippers have been waiting for their own All-Star to return to the lineup, but Kawhi Leonard likely won’t be back for a while from the knee injury that ended his 2021 postseason early. Without the team’s leading scorer, Los Angeles is competing, just as it did in advancing to the Western Conference Finals a season ago after Leonard was sidelined.
The key has been the play of guard Paul George, who has been filling up the box score on a nightly basis. George leads the Clippers with 25.6 points and 5.2 assists per game while also contributing 7.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game.
Guard Reggie Jackson has been a solid scorer, averaging 18.4 points and 3.9 assists per game while shooting 34.3% from 3-point range. Jackson has averaged 25.0 points over the last three games.
The Clippers are also getting it done on the defensive end, ranking third in the league in allowing 102.5 points per game. They’ll need that against the top defensive team in the league, Golden State, which allows just 100.9 points per game.
Golden State has two losses but one came against the Clippers on Oct. 21 in San Francisco, 115-113. The Warriors know they’re taking on a tough team despite the difference in records, and they’ll be at their best in winning this one on the road.
When making your NBA picks, take Golden State to win and cover.