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Finally Home, Clippers Host Spurs

The Clippers host the Spurs Monday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers host the Spurs Monday night at Staples Center.

Following a seven-game road trip, the Los Angeles Clippers return home Monday to host the San Antonio Spurs in a battle of Western Conference division leaders.

Tip-off at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET.

The Clippers (16-9, 8-2 home) went 4-3 during their 11 days on the road, capping off the jaunt with a 113-97 win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday.

The victory, which saw Chris Paul tally 38 points and 12 assists, maintained the Clippers’ one-game lead over the Phoenix Suns at the top of the Pacific Division.

On Monday night Doc Rivers’ side will look to do something it hasn’t done all too often over the last decade or so; beat the Spurs.

After falling to the red hot Indiana Pacers a little more than a week ago, San Antonio (19-4, 9-2 road) navigated a tough stretch of four games in five days, registering a 4-0 record across that run with a 100-84 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday.

The Spurs have won 34 of their last 39 games against the Clippers, a record that they’ll look to improve on when they take to the hardwood in Tinseltown.

Much of San Antonio’s success against the Clippers has of course stemmed from the triple threat of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker. As they have done since 2002, the trio has been a catalyst for the Spurs’ success once more this season. All three are averaging double figures in points scored while Duncan leads the team in rebounds (8.8rpg) and blocks (1.71bpg), and Parker leads the team in assists (6.0apg).

After a breakout year last season, Kawhi Leonard is also proving to be worth his weight in gold. The guard is averaging 11.8 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game and leads the team with 1.91 steals per game. Meanwhile, new recruit Marco Belinelli is providing a shooting touch from the bench, leading the league in three-point field goal percentage (.565).

The Clippers are once again a deep side. The front court pairing of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin is good for 23.2 rebounds per game while Griffin leads the team with 20.1 points per game.

Chris Paul leads the league in assists (11.5apg), is third in steals (2.29spg) and averages 19.7 points per game, putting him in the top five of scoring point guards. If all that wasn’t enough, the 28-year-old has recorded 19 double doubles in 24 games this season, second only to Kevin Love (21) of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Clippers will be without J.J. Reddick (hand/wrist), Matt Barnes (eye) and Reggie Bullock (ankle) when they take to the floor Monday night. Spurs center Tiago Splitter (calf) is listed as day-to-day.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Clippers odds for 12/16/2013

San Antonio (-130) opened as the favorite over the Clippers (+118) on the moneyline.

A season ago, the Spurs and Clippers split a four-game series, each winning once at home and once on the road. Prior to that, this series was all about San Antonio. The Spurs lead the all-time head-to-head 117-32.

San Antonio has won four straight and nine of its last 10 on the road.

The spread actually opened in favor of the Clippers with some sportsbooks but right now most Vegas odds makers have the spread at 2.5 in favor of the Spurs.

Both the Clippers (14-11-0 ATS) and Spurs (12-11-0 ATS) have covered the spread more times than not this season, although neither has been truly convincing. Both teams have covered in three of their last four.

San Antonio is 11-4-0 ATS in its last 15 games against the Clippers at Staples Center.

The over/under opened at 204.5 but has dropped to 203.

The Clippers (103.7ppg) are the fifth highest scoring team in the league and the Spurs (103.3ppg) the sixth, which would make the over seem like the reasonable option. This might not be the case though.

The Spurs (13-10-0) have favored the over while the Clippers (11-13-1) have favored the under. Meanwhile, 20 of the last 25 games played between the two sides in Los Angeles have seen the total go under.

Following Monday night’s game, the Spurs and Clippers will meet twice more in the regular season, in San Antonio on January 4 and in Los Angeles on February 18. With both teams favored to win their respective divisions, the two could meet again come playoff time.

20131215_West_standingsFor a full list of today’s NBA odds, click here.

For updated NBA futures odds, click here.

For updated NBA team prop bets, click here.

For updated NBA player prop bets, click here.

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