Utah Jazz (58–24 47-35 ATS) at L.A. Clippers (54-30 46-37-1 ATS)
The Clippers have won the last three games of this series and they can close it out on their home floor with a win in Game 6. This game can be seen on ESPN.
Even losing three in a row the oddsmakers have the Jazz as a 2-point road favorite in this game with the total sitting at 218.5.
In Game 5 the Clippers beat the Jazz 119-111 even without star Kawai Leonard in the lineup. He has a knee injury that may be an ACL tear and he is likely out for this game.
The Jazz ranked fifth this season in opponents’ points per game (108 ppg) and have Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert but in losing the last three games they have given up an average of 123 ppg.
Donovan Mitchell has been battling with an ankle injury and he has to step up in this game or Utah will be going home with no Game 7 on the horizon.
In the two home games in this series the Clippers have beaten the Jazz by double figures.
Coming Out of the Locker Room Flat
In the Game 5 loss the Jazz had a five-point lead at the half but were outscored 32-18 in the third quarter. The team allowed the Clippers to shoot 51.2% from the field and 40% from 3-pt land and they need to get back to playing good D, which they have not done in the last three games of this series.
Mitchell had 21 points in the Game 5 loss but was only 6/19 from the floor and missed 10 of his 14 3-pointers. It was his lowest scoring game of the series and he has not shot over 35% from the field in the last two games.
Bojan Bogdanovic led the Jazz with 32 points in the last game after totaling 27 points in the previous two games.
Jordan Clarkson (18.4 ppg) was a 6th Man of the Year candidate and after playing well in the first two games he has only averaged 12.3 ppg on 32.7% shooting over the last three games.
No Star, No Problem
The Clippers got the Game 2 win without Leonard, as they shot the rock well, had great balance, and Paul George went big.
George led the Clip Joint in Game 2 going for a double-double (37 points and 16 rebounds). He has scored at least 31 points in the last three games of this series and in the last two games has 25 rebounds.
In the last game George had a lot of help with Marcus Morris Sr. going for 25 points and Reggie Jackson going for 22 points. Morris Sr. (13.3 ppg) has totaled 49 points in the last two games and Jackson (10.7 ppg) has scored at least 17 points in three of his last four games.
The Clippers have never been to the Western Conference finals, and can they do it without Leonard on the sidelines? Big question.
The Clippers have won the last three games of this series in impressive fashion and won Game 5 without Leonard. The Jazz can score but it is their defense that has hurt them in losing the last three games. However, I see them bouncing back and playing good D in this elimination game. They will defend George well in Game 6 and Mitchell will play well and you add those things up and you have the Jazz winning and covering and forcing a Game 7 back in Utah.
PICK: Jazz -2