Date/Time: Friday, May 3, 9:30 p.m. (ET)
NBA Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: Memphis -6
Total Line: 180.5
The Clippers cruised to a 2-0 lead in this series, but after three-straight setbacks including Tuesday night’s 103-93 loss at home as 5.5-point favorites, they find themselves on the brink of elimination in this best-of-seven opening round playoff series. Making matters worse, they will need to win Friday night’s game on the road where they were blown-out by a combined 31 points in games’ three and four. Los Angeles has gone 1-4 against the spread with the total going OVER in four of the first five games.
The other major issue that Los Angeles faces in its attempt to force a Game 7 at home this Sunday is the health of All-Stars’ Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Griffin remains questionable for Friday night with an ankle sprain, but Paul should be in the lineup after injuring his left thumb in Tuesday’s loss. Griffin’s absence would be huge after averaging 14 points and a team-high six rebounds in the first five games.
Memphis is averaging 96.6 points a game in this series behind Zach Randolph’s team-high 20.4 points a game, but it has also gotten some solid production from both Marc Gasol (18.8 points) and Mike Conley (16.2 points). Randolph and Gasol have combined for 16.2 rebounds with Conley averaging 8.6 assists a game.
As good as these three have played on offense in this series the main reason that Memphis has a 3-2 lead is a defensive effort that has held Los Angeles to an average of 92.6 points a game after it averaged 101.1 points in the regular season. The Grizzlies were really able to ramp things up at home by holding the Clippers to less than 84 points in both games at FedEx Forum.
Free NBA Pick
The Clippers find themselves in a very difficult position to try and take this series back to LA. Even if Griffin is able to go, they face a Memphis team that is playing at a very high level in every phase of the game. The free NBA pick in this matchup is still with Los Angeles as it puts up enough of a fight to cover with the six points, but the Grizzlies are ending this series in six.
Memphis 95 Los Angeles 91
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