Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers Game Preview and Pick: Leonard Makes A Big Contribution on the Glass

Both the Lakers and Clippers will be in pursuit of better playoff seeding for the rest of the regular season, and while that makes it sound like they are chasing the same thing, that is not the case. While the Clippers remain within striking distance of the one seed in the Western Conference, the Lakers are fighting to avoid the Play-In Tournament.

Regardless of what they are chasing, the two LA franchises will meet tonight for the 4th time this season, and while the Lakers hold a 2-1 lead in the series, they have struggled to contain Kawhi Leonard, which is why we’re targeting him for our play this evening.

Game Preview

After dropping a game to the Kings on Sunday night, the Clippers have dropped two of their three games since returning from the All-Star break. Some nights’ teams just shoot it better than others, and that was the case on Sunday, with the Kings knocking down 41% of their threes, while LA could only go 8-27 from beyond the arc.

It doesn’t help that James Harden has been in a shooting slump over his last two games. While he scored 20 against the Kings, ten of those points came from the free throw line, as he went 2-10 from three, which makes him 3-14 from deep and 5-21 from the field in that two-game span.

However, Harden is not the only one struggling on the offensive end, which is why the Clippers are 22nd in point differential over the last two weeks (four games), per Cleaning the Glass. In their three games since returning from the break, the Clippers also rank 17th in both effective field goal percentage (52.1%) and true shooting percentage (56%).

The Clippers' counterpart in LA is also coming off a loss on Sunday as the Lakers fell 123-113 to the Suns. Despite that loss and being 1-2 since the break, the Lakers are still 11th in the league in NET rating over the last ten games (3.9), as their offense is shooting 50.8% from the field and 39.1% from three.

The true question with the Lakers is whether or not they can be consistent on the defensive end. Over their past four games, LA ranks 26th in points allowed per 100 possessions in non-garbage time (120.6), per Cleaning the Glass, and the last time they matched up with the Clippers, they allowed 127 points on 59% shooting from the field.

Pick for the Game

One guy who seemingly gets up for every matchup between the Clippers and Lakers is Kawhi Leonard. Instead of targeting his point total, though, I think the true value lies in his rebounding prop, which is set at 6.5. Over his last two games, Leonard has pulled down eight rebounds in each of them, and over the last ten games, he ranks third on the team in rebound chances per game with 10.2.

After being a force on the boards the past two games, it is hard to imagine Leonard doesn’t post big numbers again tonight since he’s playing a Lakers team tonight that is 27th in the league in rebounds allowed per game over the last ten games (47). Not only did the Lakers get outrebounded 51-34 in their last game, but according to the experts at, Leonard traditionally feasts on the glass in this matchup.

Leonard has cleared six rebounds in five of the last six meetings between these two teams. Most recently, when he played the Lakers on January 23rd, Leonard had 11 boards, and with both teams ranking inside the top 15 for pace over the last ten games, I think he’ll have plenty of rebounding opportunities tonight.


  • Kawhi Leonard Over 6.5 Rebounds (-130) on ESPN Bet

*odds subject to change

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