The LA Clippers head to Orlando to face the Magic as they look to pick up their second win in a row after beating Miami on Friday night.
On Friday night the LA Clippers overcame a first-half deficit to defeat the Miami Heat. Kawhi Leonard earned his first triple-double and the team was able to silence some of the chatter from earlier in the week suggesting that there was turmoil in the locker room.
Today, they visit Orlando looking to replicate their win against this same Magic team just ten days ago. That game ended in a 122-95 rout in which Kawhi scored 32 points. That was just the fourth game of his 30+ point scoring streak and tonight he looks to extend it to eight straight.
Orlando likely does not have an answer for him and with Paul George again missing the game, the Clippers will need Kawhi’s scoring. The team also announced that Patrick Beverley is questionable to play, as is Patrick Patterson. In my opinion, I would hold both out and hope a shorthanded roster can still pick up the win while the two get healthier for Tuesday’s game versus the Lakers.
Another player who could have a big game today is Montrezl Harrell. Harrell is celebrating his 26th birthday and could try and show out. He dropped 21 the last time the two teams played, so it stands to reason he will get over 20 points again.
The Magic aren’t a poor team but aren’t elite either. As we saw earlier this week in Atlanta though, any NBA team is capable of winning any night. The Clips would do well to get ahead early and then (hopefully) hold that lead with their second unit so Kawhi can rest late in the game.
While it would be great to see him continue his scoring streak, keeping him healthy for Tuesday and later in the season is obviously much more important.
This is an early game so watch for a sluggish start. Tipping off at 3:00 PM PST, the Clippers will have to find an extra gear to get going early. Perhaps looking to get Landry Shamet a few early points can ignite the offense and wear down Orlando quickly.