The Oklahoma City Thunder (0-3, 0-1 home) host the Los Angeles Clippers (2-1, 2-0 away), looking to log its first victory of the year while the Clippers try to keep its road record perfect. Both teams lost their matchup on Sunday, with the Thunder falling to Phoenix, 112-95, and the Clippers losing to Minnesota, 116-106.
The tipoff of Tuesday’s matchup is at 8 p.m. EST inside the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Los Angeles is a 9.5-point favorite, and the over/under total is 219.5 points.
What to Know – Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles began the season 2-0 with victories over rival Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings. The Clippers are the early betting favorite to win the Western Conference.
The Clippers will come into Tuesday’s contest without the services of leading scorer Paul George. George, who is averaging 23.7 points through the first three games of the season, has been ruled out of the battle with a non-COVID-19 related illness.
Even with George sidelined, the Clippers can rely on the play of John Wall, Marcus Morris Sr, and Kawhi Leonard to produce the offense. Wall is second on the roster scoring 16.0 points per game, while Morris (15 ppg) and Leonard (12.5 ppg) each add double-digit scoring options in the lineup.
Los Angeles comes into the contest scoring 103.0 points per game, last in the NBA. The Clippers’ defense is allowing opponents to average 106.7 points per contest.
What to Know – Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder hope to snap an opening three-game skid against the Clippers and no Paul George in the lineup. Oklahoma City has a pair of losses to the Timberwolves and one to the Nuggets to begin the 2022-23 season.
The leading scorer for the Thunder, point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, has also been ruled out for the contest with a hip injury. The 24-year-old is averaging 30.0 points over two games played so far in 2022.
That leaves the offense in the hands of Luguentz Dort, Josh Giddey, and backup point guard Tre Mann. Dort has been the team’s leading scorer with Alexander out.
The forward is hitting only 30% of his shots from the field but averaging 14.3 points per game. Josh Giddey is averaging the same, shooting 45.2% from the floor and hitting 30.8% of his shots from beyond the arc.
OKC ranks 20th in the NBA averaging 110.3 points per game on offense. The Thunder’s defense is 21st in the league allowing 117.7 points per contest to opposing offenses.
The Pick is In
When the ball tips off on Tuesday night, both teams will be without one of their best players in the lineup. The Clippers have the offense to cover for George’s absence, while the Thunder will need someone to step up and play well.
George is a major piece of LA’s offense, and without him, we like the Thunder and their young roster to keep this one close.
The Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder +9.5