Two days after getting upset at home by another team from Los Angeles, the Celtics (35-20) will look to bounce back at TD Garden on Saturday as 11 1/2-point favorites on NBA odds vs. the Clippers (30-26) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
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The loss ended Boston's five-game winning streak. The third quarter was the key as the Lakers outscored the Celtics, 42-17. LA hit a franchise-record 22 three-pointers for the game. LeBron James also turned in a triple-double of 28 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for the Lakers.
The Clippers come in sitting 1 1/2 games ahead of the Lakers in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They have alternated losses and wins in their past five games after getting routed 116-92 by the Indiana Pacers as 6 1/2-point road underdogs at sports betting sites on Thursday.
Without Harris, the Clippers will likely find it difficult to hold onto their current position in the West, especially with James returning for the Lakers and the Sacramento Kings also in the mix. They are building for the future though and have cleared significant cap space so they can make a run at one or two max-contract free agents in the offseason.
The Celtics are clearly on the other side of the spectrum, going for an NBA championship with a loaded roster ready to win now. They were playing some of their best basketball of the season until they lost to the Lakers, winning 10 of 11 straight up and going 5-5-1 against the spread in that span, according to the OddsShark.com NBA Database.
The Clippers have enjoyed some surprising success in this series recently, going 7-3 and 6-4 against the spread in the past 10 meetings. Much of that success can be attributed to former Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who has his rebuilding team overachieving this season.
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