Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors preview
Blake Griffin will be key for the Clippers tonight. | USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors preview

Two of the Western Conference's top sides will battle it out tonight, with the hosts looking to end their losing streak against the conference leaders. Tip-off is 10:30 p.m. E.T.

chris-hughes
Chris Hughes

Fresh off the back of victories just last night, the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors will take to the Staples Center's court in today's late match-up.

The former go into the game after beating the Phoenix Suns 124-114, whilst the Warriors marched to a fourth-straight victory with a win over the Charlotte Hornets.

The win would be vital for the Clippers, with the side having slipped away from the third-seeded Houston Rockets ahead of them. A loss tonight would see their 31-18 record match that of the Utah Jazz beneath them, offering the realistic possibility of slipping down to fifth.

Meanwhile Golden State will hope to continue their consistent and stellar run, having won nine of their last ten games. 

In fact, the 2015 NBA champions have only lost twice from a possible 17 games since their Christmas Day defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Because of this, the Warriors still boast the highest points returns of any team in the league, with an average of 118.1 per game. This is coupled with an chart-topping plus/minus differential too, which stands at 13.2.

Despite their run of 6-4 from their last ten games, the Clippers still have a stellar points average themselves, with 108.2.

Worryingly though the hosts have lost the second game of all of their last four back-to-backs, with the most recent being January 24th's loss against the Philadelphia 76ers, which came a day after their victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Previous Match-ups

Warriors coach Steve Kerr will be hoping the memories of his side's win against the Clippers will be fresh in his players minds, with the two franchises having met just four days ago.

Golden State won that one 144-98, making it the most points any team has scored, even through over-time, this calendar year. To add insult to injury, it was also the joint-lowest points return the Clippers have mustered since the start of 2017 too.

What's more, the two sides met in December as well, with the Warriors taking the W in that match-up as well. The final score that night was 98-115, with Klay Thompson scoring 24.

In fact, the Clippers haven't won against the Warriors in the regular season in eight attempts, with their last victory over the 2016 NBA finalists being way back at the end of 2014, per Land of Basketball.

Key Players

Stephen Curry shot 39 against his hometown Charlotte last night. | USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers will have to be wary of the Warriors' star duo tonight, with both Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry in fine form.

Since suffering a slump at the start of the season and particularly in December, Curry has started 2017 impressively, averaging 27.8 points per game for the month of January.

In fact, the point guard has scored 20 points in every game he has featured in since the turn of the year. He had eight games with less than 20 points in December.

Durant, meanwhile is averaging 26.8 points from his last five games, which include shooting nine-from-eleven against the Clippers themselves.

Draymond Green,  meanwhile will continue to be a nuisance on the court, with the power forward having averaged 1.7 blocks and 1.8 steals when the Warriors win this season.

Meanwhile for LA, they will be increasingly reliant on both DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, with star guard Chris Paul still out.

The power forward Griffin scored 29 points in last night's win against Phoenix, and is boasting a 22.45 player efficiency rating for the season.

Jordan meanwhile is averaging 12.3 points and 13.8 rebounds for the campaign, with some impressive conversion rates to match. The center is shooting 77 percent from his last five games, having not missed a field goal in his last two.

Injuries

The Warriors will be without as many as three players for the game in LA, with starting center Zaza Pachulia the notable absentee. The 32-year-old is expected to miss a week with a strained rotator cuff, per ESPN.

The other injuries come in the form of David West (thumb) and Shaun Livingston (back). The former will be out until the weekend, but Livingston could yet feature against the Clippers, having missed the win against Charlotte.

For the hosts, there is only one likely absentee, but it's a game changer. Chris Paul tore his left thumb ligament in the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder last month, and is expected to return after the All-Star break.

Tip-off tonight is 10:30 p.m. E.T.

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