Bet LA: Clippers In Trouble, But Return Home Should Help Them Cover

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It’s do-or-die time for the Los Angeles Clippers. After all, if you fall behind 3-0 in a series, you may as well be behind 4-0.

But that’s where the Clippers are today — trailing the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals by a 2-0 count with Game 3 set for Thursday at 9 p.m. EST.

So why is it a must-win? Because nobody in NBA playoff history has come back from a 3-0 deficit. The Clippers sure haven’t done it.

They’ve never even been to the Finals, not when they were the Buffalo Braves in the 1970s, not when they moved to San Diego in 1978. And since the Clippers have been in LA (1984), it’s been the other team in town (yeah, the dreaded Lakers) that has been hanging championship banners.

Oh, and the Clippers will have to try to do it without All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard, their best player who will miss his fifth straight game with a knee injury. Meanwhile, Suns star point guard Chris Paul is expected to return from a stint in the league’s health and safety protocol.

Other than all that, you have to love the Clippers’ odds. Or something.

On the bright side, the Clippers kept the first two games close in Phoenix. They actually stayed in it all the way in Game 2, before losing after a buzzer-beating dunk from Suns center Deandre Ayton, who slammed home the win off an inbounds pass.

Anyway, the fact the Clippers are back at the Staples Center is pretty much their lone dose of good news. Taking care of business there would be even better news. That’s precisely what they should do in Game 3.

The Clippers are getting a +1, and you should go ahead and take it. With or without Leonard, they are too deep and talented to fall too far out of this thing. They’ll cover.

As for the over-under of 221.5, the Suns won Game 2 by the score of 104-103. They won Game 1, 120-114. This game should fall somewhere in between, but defense tends to get more staunch as each series goes along. Go with the under.

The bottom line is if the Clippers don’t get it done here, well, it’s over. They say they understand that, and it should be enough to get them to win and cover.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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