Gameday Report: Clippers host Pelicans, look to play spoiler
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The Clippers (42-38) will host the New Orleans Pelicans (46-34) on Monday night. The two teams have met three times this season, and LA will look to even the season series.
Here’s what to look out for in Monday’s matchup:
Something left to play for –
The Clippers fell to the Nuggets on Saturday, ending their run of six consecutive playoff berths, but that doesn’t mean the season is over for LA, at least not in the eyes of coach Doc Rivers.
After Saturday’s game, Rivers said he felt it important that the Clippers give a good account of themselves in the final two games of the season, and furthermore, do their best to “make it hard for the Pelicans to get in.”
New Orleans is still battling for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs and is in need of a win to help secure their first playoff berth since 2014-15.
Rivers wasn’t sure on Saturday if he would play his starters or let his young guys see increased minutes, but what he was sure of is that he wants to win.
“I think I have to play the guys against New Orleans, honestly,” Rivers said. “I think we really have to go after that game. I just believe in protecting the league. That's what we should do, and I hope we do that."
The Clippers will be without guards Austin Rivers (right elbow soreness) and Lou Williams (sprained right ankle) on Monday, and guards Milos Teodosic (foot) and Jawun Evans (athletic pubalgia surgery) remain out as well.
Forward Danilo Gallinari will miss Monday’s game with a sore right hand.
What to do with AD –
The last time LA and New Orleans faced off, it turned into the Anthony Davis show.
Davis poured in 41 points, including four three-pointers, and grabbed 13 rebounds, leading the Pelicans to a 121-116 win over the Clippers.
However, that was the first success that Davis has found in STAPLES Center against the Clippers.
Prior to that matchup, Davis was 0-6 on the road against the Clippers. In those games, he averaged 19.5 points and 7.0 rebounds, well below his career averages of 23.4 points and 10.3 rebounds.
The key to winning any matchup with the Pelicans is obviously to slow down Davis. The Clippers will have their final crack at it this season come tonight.
Monday’s game will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. PDT.