Despite having to play without two key starters and just one game away from being eliminated from the Western Conference Finals, the LA Clippers proved last night that they’re not ready to go home. The Phoenix Suns proved that they don’t want this series to end, either. There will be a Game 6 and possibly a Game 7 for these two teams before a winner can be found, and that’s fine with NBA fans and gamblers. The Clippers and Suns will face off again tomorrow night, but tonight, it’s time for the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks to decide what happens next.
Clippers Stay Alive Against the Suns
No one should be surprised that the Clippers pulled off a win on their own court, even if they were slight underdogs going into the game. Paul George helped get it done by putting up 41 points, his playoff career high, with Reggie Jackson adding 23 to help secure the 116-102 victory. Every time the Clippers are expected to fail, they bounce back and continue to win. As George said after last night’s victory, the Clippers have to “do it again two more times.”
The Clippers were able to win without Kawhi Leonard and Ivica Zubac. That didn’t stop them, though, and the Suns found themselves at a disadvantage several times during the game. They were down several times by at least 15 points and, even as they tried to rebound, the Clippers mounted an unstoppable defense to keep them away. Up by 13 points late in the fourth, it looked like the Suns’ night was over, but they still managed to come back to within four halfway through the period. George and his teammates wouldn’t let them continue, going on a 10-2 run that sealed the game.
Hawks Look to Even the Score
The Bucks are up 2-1 against the Hawks, but that doesn’t mean Atlanta is done. The team has already shown an ability to claw its way to the victory line and tonight’s game will try to produce more of the same. This is as important a Game 4 as the Hawks could ever play, and it will take everything they have to keep the series alive. The Bucks have won the last two off decisive wins, with Atlanta needing to tighten its defense in order to stave off repeated attacks like those seen from the Bucks.
That won’t be an easy feat, especially if Trae Young is out. He went down in Game 3 after falling on a ref’s foot, leaving him with a twisted ankle. Young is currently questionable for the game and, while the injury doesn’t seem to be serious, it could be enough to keep him sidelined. At the very least, he will be less than 100% tonight. In addition, Bogdan Bogdanovic is listed as probable, recovering from a knee injury.
Bucks Favored on the Road
Even though this game is going to be played on Atlanta’s court, the Bucks are the long favorites to win. They’re getting -275 to the Hawks’ +220, which makes a moneyline bet not really a good target. The Bucks are -6.5 (-115) on the spread, which is worth a unit or less, especially if Young is out. He won’t be able to put up his normal aggressive attacks even if he’s on the court, and the Bucks are almost guaranteed to run away with the game.
Even the Over/Under doesn’t seem like a great target tonight. It is now at 219.5 (-110) and not going to get any better. Assuming Young is out, again, there’s less of a chance that the Hawks will be able to put up any numbers. The Bucks have no reason to be overly aggressive tonight but, for those who want some action on the game, take the Under and pick up a little extra money.