The LA Clippers are third in the Western Conference, while the Phoenix Suns are second. Both the divisional rivals have racked up 43 wins apiece, but the Suns have played two games less. So a win by the LA Clippers could see them overtake their opponents for the 2nd seed in the conference.
This is their third matchup of the season between the two teams, with the LA Clippers winning the two previous meetings.
The Phoenix Suns are fresh off ending the New York Knicks' nine-game winning streak and have won seven of their last ten games. Meanwhile, the LA Clippers seem unfazed by their injury woes, winning 11 of their last 13 outings.
This match has the potential to go down to the wire, as both teams are in prime form right now. However, the absence of Kawhi Leonard could tip the scales in the Phoenix Suns' favor.
LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns: Injury Report
The LA Clippers' injury woes continue unabated, as they have several players in their injury report for this game as well.
Kawhi Leonard is doubtful, as he is recovering from soreness in his right foot. Amir Coffey and Nicolas Batum are listed as questionable due to a tailbone contusion and right shoulder contusion, respectively.
Meanwhile, Serge Ibaka (lower back tightness) and Patrick Beverly (left-hand fracture) continue to be ruled out. Ibaka has played just 39 games this season and will miss his 24th straight match. Beverly has played even fewer games - 31 - so far and has missed 20 of the LA Clippers' last 22 outings.
The Phoenix Suns have a few injuries reported as well. Dario Saric is listed as questionable and is under 'injury management' after injuring his left ankle. Starting power forward Jae Crowder is questionable due to a right ankle sprain.
Meanwhile, Abdel Nader underwent right knee arthroscopy and remains out for an indefinite period.
LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns: Predicted Lineups
The LA Clippers will likely use the same starting lineup as they did in their last game. Reggie Jackson should continue to play the point guard in Patrick Beverly's absence, while Ivica Zubac fills in for Serge Ibaka at center.
Zubac has done a great job as the starting center, while DeMarcus Cousins has excelled off the bench. Marcus Morris Sr. has been playing the power forward, with Terrance Mann coming in as the small forward ever since Kawhi Leonard went down with an injury.
Meanwhile, seven-time All-Star Paul George will likely remain the shooting guard for the LA Clippers and hold down the fort till Leonard recovers.
The Phoenix Suns' lineup will look slightly different if Jae Crowder doesn't lace up. Their star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker has continued to shine, with Paul playing point guard.
Young big man Deandre Ayton should retain his center spot and Mikal Bridges is expected to reprise his small forward role. Meanwhile, Torrey Craig has been filling in as the power forward in Jae Crowder's absence. Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne are seeing increased minutes off the bench for the Suns.
LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns: Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Reggie Jackson | Shooting Guard - Paul George | Small Forward - Terrance Mann | Power Forward - Marcus Morris Sr. | Center - Ivica Zubac.
Point Guard - Chris Paul | Shooting Guard - Devin Booker | Small Forward - Mikal Bridges | Power Forward - Torrey Craig | Center - Deandre Ayton.