Just like they did in the prior two series against the Mavericks and Jazz falling into 0-2 holes, the Los Angeles Clippers scored a huge Game 3 win to get themselves right back into the Eastern Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns. It took another Herculean effort from Paul George and an injury to Cameron Payne to get the job done, but Ty Lue’s squad went above and beyond to avoid being put on the brink. Even so, online sportsbooks still aren’t buying into another Clippers comeback with the Suns lined heavy -500 favorites to win the series and once again the chalk to head back to the desert with the 3-1 series lead. Since thrilling NBA bettors with a competitive fast paced shootout in the series opener, each of the last two matchups has failed to surpass the closing total with both defenses hunkering down. With three games in the bag and familiarity now commonplace, will the offenses open things back up in Game 4? If so, that bodes extremely well for the series leaders.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers will tip-off on Saturday, June 26, 2021 from the Staples center. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET. We'll have odds and player props available at BookMaker.eu for this and every game remaining in the NBA Playoffs.
NBA Betting Lines at BookMaker.eu
Phoenix Suns -1.5
Los Angeles Clippers +1.5
The Clippers have covered two of the three games played in this series. It would’ve been all three had LA not wilted in the closing minute of Game 1. Regardless of pounding the Suns by 14 points as 1.5-point underdogs per the closing NBA odds, linemakers once again have Phoenix installed 1.5-point road favorites to increase its overall lead in the series. In falling Thursday night, the Suns saw their nine-game win streak come to an end. They’ve also dropped back-to-back pointspread decisions for the first time in the postseason. The Game 3 triumph pushed the Clippers to 5-0 SU and ATS at home since dropping the first three postseason games as decided favorites to Dallas in the opening round. The O/U for Game 4 is back down to 220 after going off the board at 220, 222.5 and 221 in the first three games. The under has cashed in four of Phoenix’s six played road games, and 4-4 in LA’s eight played in front of the hometown faithful.
The Suns got Chris Paul back for Game 3. Though he would ultimately go on to log a double-double with 15 points and 12 assists, he wasn’t much of a factor in the game. But what the basketball gods giveth, they also taketh away. After playing a crucial role in leading the Suns to the 1-point win in Game 2, Cameron Payne was forced from Game 3 at the end of the first quarter after rolling his ankle. He would never return. His absence on the hardwood was highly noticeable with Phoenix mustering a total of just 44 points in the second half. Forced to play more minutes because of it, Paul’s overall body of work suffered. Monty Williams stated he was hopeful Payne would be able to return to the floor for Game 4 in his postgame presser.
Los Angeles Clippers
Even before Kawhi Leonard was forced to the pine due to injury, Paul George was doing work. After grinding out a game-high 27 points on a horrid 9-of-26 shooting, the Clippers anointed alpha has now scored 20 or more points in 16 straight games. That milestone is a Clippers franchise record as well as the longest active streak in the NBA per the folks at StatMuse. But LA wouldn’t be where it is now without the help of numerous others. Reggie Jackson has simply been unconscious throughout the Clippers playoff run. His 65 percent true shooting percentage while averaging at least 3+ made three-pointers has only been matched by one other person in the history of the NBA playoffs. That person is none other than Steph Curry. Think about that for a second!
Phoenix vs. Los Angeles Prediction
Los Angeles is now three wins away from battling back to win a series for the third straight time after initially falling into a 0-2 deficit. It’s truly been a remarkable run for George and company, but I’m wondering if it’s going to be sustainable against this type of opponent. While the loss of Payne proved to be detrimental in Game 3, Phoenix will now have a full day to scheme without him figured to be in its plan of attack. They had to do so on the fly Thursday night, but that won’t be the case in Game 4. LA did exactly what I needed it to do to cash a ticket Thursday night; compete on the glass (51-43) and hit free throws (20/24). Can we really count on Ivica Zubac going for a playoff high 16 rebounds again in Game 4? Will LA get to shoot 11 more throws than the Suns? I think the answer to each question is no. Deandre Ayton still had a quiet 18 points and nine rebounds, while the masked Devin Booker had a terrible shooting night (5/21) and only hit one of seven long range shots. I still feel Phoenix is the better overall team in this matchup. Sooner or later, this Kawhi-less run will lose steam and I’ll be betting it occurs in Game 4.
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