After squeaking past the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers return to the Wells Fargo Center court tonight to face another title contender. Despite being without some starters due to injuries lately and recently resting their star wing duo, the Los Angeles Clippers still currently hold the longest winning streak in the league at seven games. Doc Rivers’ former club is doing a nice job balancing the long-term view of keeping their players as fresh and healthy as possible in this truncated season, while still remaining competitive near the top of an always difficult Western Conference. LA enters the evening just three games back of Utah for the top seed in the West.
The Clippers won the previous meeting between these two clubs a few weeks ago in Los Angeles, 122-112. Of course, the Sixers were starting Mike Scott in place of an injured Joel Embiid for that contest, which might make for a different dynamic out there tonight. Ivica Zubac is a nice enough center, but no one is slowing down JoJo right now, coming off back-to-back 36-plus-point performances. DeMarcus Cousins is Los Angeles’ other option, currently playing on a 10-day contract. Embiid fell one assist shy of a 31-point triple-double against Cousins and the Houston Rockets back in February, so no worries there.
Paul George will return to action after getting a DNP-rest in the Clippers’ previous game, while Kawhi Leonard is currently questionable with a minor foot injury. Availability for the Ghost of Four Bounces Past will obviously go a long way toward determining tonight’s outcome. So too, though, will the Sixers’ own injury situation, with Tobias Harris also questionable with what was described Wednesday night as an achy knee. There was a lot on the line against Brooklyn in terms of sole possession of first place in the East and winning the regular-season tiebreaker, so it made sense for Tobi to gut it out there. It might behoove the Sixers to rest Harris here against a Western Conference foe; it’s more important the shoulda-been-an-All-Star is all systems go in late May.
Even if neither team is at full strength tonight, it’s still another opportunity to watch our FIRST-PLACE Sixers match up against one of the best teams in the league. We’ll see if Philadelphia can build upon its sparkling 21-5 record at home and keep Brooklyn at arms-length in the standings. Grab your bag of Goldfish and tune in for the action.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Clippers
When: 7:00pm ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, ESPN
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Philadelphia: Tobias Harris - questionable (knee); Dwight Howard - questionable (knee); George Hill - out (thumb)
Los Angeles: Patrick Beverley - out (hand); Serge Ibaka - out (back); Jay Scrubb - out (foot); Kawhi Leonard - questionable (foot)