Clippers vs. Lakers Picks & Prediction January 24: Will LeBron Answer Bell for Los Angeles?

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NBA Pick: Clippers -5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Clippers -5 (-110)
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The Clippers and Lakers meet on Tuesday night in the battle for Los Angeles. It’s the third such crosstown (cross arena?) battle so far this season, and the Clippers’ 2-0 record in the previous games is the only thing separating the two teams in the standings and on the NBA odds.

The Clippers are a disappointing 25-24 on the year, which has them in sixth place in the Western Conference. The Lakers are an equally disappointing 22-25, which has them in a tie for 12th place. The Clips are two games out of fourth place in the West but also two games out of 13th. The Lakers have been lurking outside the playoff picture for much of the season.

Both teams enter on two-game winning streaks and hope to continue their hot streak and make a run at the spot where each expected to contend heading into the season. With the NBA trade deadline looming—and the Lakers already beginning to deal—the loser of Tuesday’s game could start to look at which parts need to be sold off in a season that hasn’t met expectations.   

Angelenos interested in making some bets for this L.A. battle can use any of these California betting sites to do so.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers  

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 – 10:00 PM EST at Arena 

Getting Their Stars Back

One big reason for the Clippers’ underperformance has been injuries to their top players. The good news is that the stars appear to be rounding back into form. Kawhi Leonard has only played in 24 of the Clippers’ 49 games so far this season, but he’s played in seven of the team’s last eight games and is a full go for Tuesday and hasn’t even been listed on the team’s injury report for recent games.  

He’s definitely been a different player since getting back to full health. In the last seven games, while playing regularly, Kawhi has averaged 29.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists while hitting .541 from the field. In the previous 17 games that he played this season, he averaged 16.6, 5.9, and 3.8, and hit .471.  

Paul George has also returned, playing three of the last four games after missing five with a hamstring injury. He’s also been ruled a full go for Tuesday. He seems to have found a new role in his return, as coach Tyronn Lue has him running the point, with John Wall out with an abdominal injury—Wall will miss Tuesday’s game as well.  

“You’re not a traditional point guard so you don’t have to facilitate and try to make the play, like, you got to go get yours, as well,” Lue told George. And it seems to have worked. In two games in that role, he’s averaged 8 assists and 18.5 points. More importantly, the Clippers have averaged 133.9 points per 100 possessions, up from 111.7, which ranks near the bottom of the league, in their previous 47 games. 

Shooter Luke Kennard will also miss the game with calf soreness. 

Eyes on LeBron 

The injury situation isn’t as certain for the Lakers on Tuesday night. Once again, LeBron James heads the team’s injury report. James is listed as questionable with an ankle injury that has bothered him for much of the season.

While James has been listed as questionable on a regular basis in recent weeks, more often than not, he’s been able to answer the bell and has been at his best when he’s been on the floor. The King has already won two conference player of the week awards in January.  

The Lakers are about to get some big additions to the roster, but it appears that neither will be ready in time for Tuesday. Anthony Davis has been out most of the season with an injured foot. He participated in a full-contact scrimmage over the weekend and looked “phenomenal” according to coaches. He’s expected to return this week, but Saturday’s game appears to be the target, not Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, the Lakers have gotten a jump on the Feb. 9 trade deadline, swinging a deal with the Wizards on Monday for Rui Hachimura. He has been listed as out for the game, however, as he makes the move to L.A. and takes care of the business of joining a new organization.  

The Picks 

So far this month, concerns over LeBron’s ankle have usually been answered with all-star performances by the 38-year-old legend. However, there seems to be a bit more concern over it heading into Tuesday’s game. For your NBA picks, look for James to have a rare off night if he plays, and for the Clippers to continue their hold on the city this season.  

Score Prediction: Clippers 118 - Lakers 109 

NBA Pick: Clippers -5 (-110) at BetOnline

NBA Pick: LeBron James Under 31.5 Points (-126) at BetOnline

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LeBron James Under 31.5 Points (-126)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.