Game Preview: Clippers set to take on Miami on second night of back-to-back
5:00pm PT | Fox Sports Prime Ticket | AM 570 LA Sports
For the LA Clippers, it has been, and will continue to be, next man up. At least for a little bit longer.
The Clippers (11-16) will take on the Miami Heat on Saturday night, in the second night of a road back-to-back and third game in a four-game road trip. And despite missing several key players, the Clippers are winners of three of their last four, and nearly pulled off a comeback win over the Washington Wizards on Friday behind veterans Lou Williams and DeAndre Jordan, and a career night from rookie Jawun Evans.
LA took the floor on Friday without the services of Blake Griffin (knee), Milos Teodosic (rest), Danilo Gallinari (glute), and Austin Rivers (concussion), which called for an increase in playing time for the team’s young batch of talent. Evans played a whopping 40 minutes and finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals, all career highs. Rookies Jamil Wilson and C.J. Williams also posted career highs in points, scoring 10 apiece.
After trailing by as many as 18 in the second quarter, and by as many as 11 early in the fourth, the Clippers stormed back and tied the game at 82 with 4:56 left, behind Evans and Williams. However, the duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal made a few clutch jumpers for the Wizards to seal the 100-91 victory.
Williams continues to dominate offensively as of late, averaging 25.8 points over the last five games and leading the league in points per game off the bench (19.2). In addition, over the last five games, Jordan is averaging 18.2 rebounds and is averaging 17.1 for the month of December.
Teodosic, who missed 22 games this season with a plantar fascia injury in his left foot, will return to the Clippers lineup against the Heat, after sitting out Friday’s game due to a minutes restriction. In his two games back since returning from injury, against Toronto and Orlando, he is averaging 10 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists. Rivers, who took an elbow from Magic forward Jonathon Simmons in the second quarter of Wednesday’s game, missed the second half of that game and missed Friday’s game, as he goes through the NBA’s concussion protocol. It is possible he could return to the Clippers lineup on Monday at San Antonio.
The Clippers have won four of their last five against the Heat, dating back to 2016, and have won three straight in Miami. However, the Clippers have yet to win a game in a back-to-back this season (0-9).
Saturday’s game will tip off at 5 p.m. PST.