Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Clippers (Game 3): Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

When: Thursday, April 18th at 10:30pm EST.

How (TV): TNT

Golden State Warriors (Away)

Head Coach: Steve Kerr {All-Time: 322-88 | GSW}

Season Record: 57-25

Projected Starting Five: (G) Stephen Curry – (G) Klay Thompson – (F) Kevin Durant – (F) Draymond Green – (C) Andrew Bogut

Top Performers

  • F Kevin Durant – 26.0 PPG | 6.4 RPG | 5.9 APG
  • G Stephen Curry – 27.3 PPG | .437 3P% | .916 FT%
  • G Klay Thompson 21.5 PPG | .516 2P% | .402 3P%

After drawing first blood in game one, the Golden State Warriors suffered a setback in game two, losing 135-131 on Monday night. Steve Kerr’s squad led by as much as 31 points during this game, before allowing the Clippers to mount a historic comeback.

The Warriors losses were not limited to the scoreboard, however, as their biggest offseason acquisition and starting center, DeMarcus Cousins went down with a serious quad injury in the first quarter.

Stephen Curry was the top scorer for Golden State with 29 points, hitting 5 of 11 attempts from beyond the arc. Fellow All-Star Kevin Durant added 21 points, while reserve big man Kevon Looney chipped in with 19 points with his increased role coming from the loss of Cousins.

Turnovers plagued the Warriors, as Golden State coughed up 22 of them. Durant was the biggest culprit on the team with nine turnovers. This was Golden State’s second straight game with 20 or more turnovers, a trend that Kerr would love to put an end to.

Los Angeles Clippers (Home)

Head Coach: Doc Rivers {All-Time: 894-658 | ORL, BOS, LAC}

Season Record: 48-34

Projected Starting Five: (G) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – (G) Patrick Beverley – (G) Landry Shamet – (F) Danilo Gallinari – (C) Ivica Zubac

Top Performers

  • G Lou Williams – 20.0 PPG | 5.4 APG | .361 3P%
  • Danilo Gallinari – 19.8 PPG | .433 3P% | .904 FT%
  • Montrezl Harrell – 16.6 PPG | 6.5 RPG | .615 FG%

When your team is down 31 points to a team that is stacked with All-Stars and the defending NBA champions, it is hard to be optimistic for a comeback. Don’t tell that to this Los Angeles Clippers team, who managed to pull off the biggest comeback in NBA postseason history.

Leading the way for the Clippers was a bench unit that dropped 83 points, with Sixth Man of the Year favorite, Lou Williams scoring a game high 36 points while dishing out 11 assists. LA’s energy guy, Montrezl Harrell followed Williams’ effort with his own double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari was the top scoring starter for the Clippers with 24 points.

Harrell benefitted greatly from Cousins’ injury, as the Louisville product was unstoppable in the paint, scoring 14 points in the restricted area from the second quarter onwards.

What’s At Stake?

The Warriors hit the road with the series tied 1-1, which is the first time the team has not started their first round matchup up 2-0 since Kerr took over from Mark Jackson. The last time Golden State did not start out 2-0 in round one, was Jackson’s last year in 2014, when the Warriors were matched up against the Clippers.

With a win in at least one of their next two home games, the Clippers could be the first team to hand the Warriors two opening round losses in the Kerr era. This should not be too much to ask for from coach Doc Rivers, as the Clippers have managed to take all of their opening rounds to at least six games under his watch.

How Do the Warriors Handle Cousins’ Absence?

With their prized free agent acquisition possibly lost for the playoffs, the Warriors must “make do” with a starting lineup of four All-Stars. Who replaces Cousins in the starting lineup remains to be seen, with the most likely option being Andrew Bogut, who returned after a stint in Australia.

Although Bogut may get the starting nod, Kevon Looney should get some burn, especially after his game two performance. Of course, as with past years, the “death line-up” featuring 2015 Finals MVP, Andre Iguodala could be rolled out as well.

Ball Movement > Hero Ball

Despite each of these teams having explosive scorers, their coaching staffs have placed a heavy emphasis on moving the ball around for quality looks. The Warriors have mastered this approach for years, with their high powered offense leading the league with 29.4 assists per game during the regular season.

Likewise, the Clippers have used their fast break attack to take advantage of their opponents in transition before a defensive front can be implemented. With their offense averaging 101.7 possessions per 48 minutes, the Clippers have been able to maximize their opportunities on that end of the floor.

Each team’s focus on ball movement has been on full display in this series, most notably in game two, where each team managed to register assists on more than 70% of their made field goals.

Golden State Warriors Roster Notes

C DeMarcus Cousins – 16 Apr 2019 – Out (Torn Right Quad) – Cousins will be re-evaluated in two weeks to decide if he will play again this postseason.

C Damian Jones – 8 Mar 2019 – Out (Torn Left Pectoral) – Head coach Steve Kerr said its doubtful that Jones returns during the playoffs, according to a report from Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Los Angeles Clippers Roster Notes

There are no injuries or roster changes to report for the Clippers.

X-Factors: Kevon Looney (GSW) vs Montrezl Harrell (LAC)

One of the more underrated but undoubtedly important roles on a basketball team is a player who does the dirty work that may not always show up on the box score. Two such players will be in the spotlight in this game, as Kevon Looney will look to fill in for DeMarcus Cousins while facing off against Montrezl Harrell, who has developed into one of the best energy guys in the league.

Kevon Looney

Power Forward/Center | 6-9, 220lb (206cm, 99kg) | UCLA | Exp. 3 Years

6.3 PPG | 1.5 APG | 5.2 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 0.6 TOV | .625 FG% | .100 3P%

Looney, a former first round pick in 2015, has not been asked to do much during his time in the East Bay. Having started just 32 games with the Warriors, the former UCLA Bruin has made his keep playing tough defense off the bench and serving as a key cog in pick-and-rolls featuring Steph Curry and Quinn Cook. Having been an understudy to the likes of Draymond Green and David West, Looney has managed to soak in a lot of the nuances of fitting into Golden State’s game plan.

Montrezl Harrell

Power Forward/Center | 6-8, 240lb (203cm, 108kg) | Louisville | Exp. 3 Years

16.6 PPG | 2.0 APG | 6.5 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 1.3 BPG | 1.6 TOV | .615 FG% | .176 3P%

Even though he is far from a stretch four, Montrezl Harrell has managed to make an impact for the Clippers since arriving from Houston in the Chris Paul trade. The springy yet powerful Harrell has embraced his role as a grinder, dominating the paint on offense with his athleticism and strength, while using his massive wingspan to alter shots on the defensive end. Having Harrell along with Lou Williams off the bench has made the Clippers a tough team to adjust to for their opponents.

Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers Odds

If you reside in New Jersey you can now bet on your NBA favorite at one of these sportsbooks:

Sportsbook Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Clippers Link
888Sport NJ -400 +320
BetStars NJ -400 +320

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