Even though the Thunder narrowly ended their 4-game skid last night @ Portland, they are still 1 loss away from losing 5 of 6 and 6 of 8 games.,Next up for the Hawks was a 6 game Western Conference road trip against average to good teams, all of which would be underdogs to them.,Proposed bet#3: .3 units on LA Lakers ML +200 ~ Potential Profit = .6 units -(Subtracted by the .1 from Denver Bet & the .2 units from Phoenix bet) =+0.3 units

Regardless of which game they loss, my friend Jay would profit between .1 and .6 units as long as they lost one game.,Although I haven't employed such an ambitious strategy, I have always thought about the ways in which Jay would manufacture value by betting against a team multiple times - knowing that if he was wrong on the first game, he would get better value betting against them the next game.,If the true value of the Hawks against OKC, the 6th game of their trip, was an even money proposition, by the time the Hawks won their next 5 games the market would make them significantly more expensive, and the Thunder would obtain more value, around at +130 or better. read more

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, with all due respect to local football fans following the Rams' Super Bowl defeat, thinks his team has some similarities to the NFL champion New England Patriots.,"I think early on they were facing a ton of adversity," Pelinka said on a conference call with reporters Friday to discuss his team's NBA trade deadline deals.,The Clippers' deal opened a roster spot, and Pelinka said the team is evaluating "a handful" of players to fill it -- either now or closer to the March 1 deadline to add a player and have him be playoff eligible.,Continuing the Patriots' parallel, Pelinka compared Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman to the players the Lakers added, noting how New England found its rhythm after the slot receiver returned from a four-game suspension, much the same way he hopes the Lakers find their stride now.,Pelinka confirmed a Los Angeles Times report that detailed Johnson's plan to meet the team in Philadelphia -- Pelinka said Johnson is attending a reunion celebrating Michigan State's 1979 NCAA championship as he makes his way west to east.

USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James’ return to action definitely wasn’t "back in no time," as he promised post-Christmas, but it was worth the wait for the Los Angeles Lakers.,In a thrilling 123-120 overtime victory over the local rival Los Angeles Clippers, James put his team ahead for the final time on a nerveless jump shot with just over a minute remaining to set up the win.,So much for the Lakers watching James’ playing time carefully as he came back from a groin strain sustained against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day.,At the time of the injury, James seemed mightily relieved that the groin strain he sustained was not more serious.,Back when James got hurt while reaching for a loose ball against the Warriors, a partnership with Davis was nothing more than a mere possibility, and one far more likely to happen later than sooner. read more

TOP PERFORMERS: Tobias Harris ranks second on the Clippers averaging 2.0 made 3-pointers and averages 21.0 points while shooting 43.7 percent from beyond the arc.,Harrell has averaged 15.5 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting 58.5 percent over the last 10 games for Los Angeles.,He averages 14.0 points per game and is shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc.,LAST 10 GAMES: Hawks: 4-6, averaging 112.7 points, 47.9 rebounds, 25.4 assists, 7.9 steals and 3.8 blocks per game while shooting 47.0 percent from the field.,Clippers: 4-6, averaging 107 points, 44 rebounds, 22.8 assists, six steals and 4.8 blocks per game while shooting 45.2 percent from the field.

“We had been doing it so well for about five or six weeks,” Spoelstra said, with the Heat averaging the fifth-most second-chance points in the NBA this season (14.8 per game).,The good news for the Heat is games against the struggling Cavaliers and Knicks are up next.,The starting five of Hassan Whiteside, James Johnson, Rodney McGruder, Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson had struggled recently, with the group outscored by 36 points in 107 minutes over the Heat’s previous 10 games.,It marked the second game this season Miami has used the starting lineup of Whiteside, James Johnson, McGruder, Winslow and Tyler Johnson, with the other time coming in a road win over the Magic on Dec. 23.,Olynyk received a DNP-coach’s decision (did not play, coach’s decision) for the second consecutive game and has played just four minutes over the Heat’s past three games.

Curry led the Warriors with 28 points, Durant added 24 and Golden State won its seventh in a row and sixth straight on the road.,With Cousins finally in the lineup, Golden State became the first team in 42 years to start five All-Stars from the previous season.,Cousins missed his first shot but came right back with a one-handed slam off Durant's bounce pass for the Warriors' first basket.,The Warriors took their first double-digit lead in the first four minutes of the third when the Clippers missed their initial six shots.,Golden State opened on a 14-2 run with five different players scoring, including a basket by Cousins before getting his fourth foul, to go up 66-53.

The National Sports Media Association (NSMA) today announced that the legendary “Voice of the Clippers” Ralph Lawler has been voted by his peers as the 2018 California Sportscaster of the Year.,Lawler will be honored alongside all of this year’s NSMA award winners during the 60th annual NSMA Awards Weekend, June 22-24, 2019 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“I’m thankful to the NSMA for recognizing me with this award, to the Clippers and FOX Sports, and most importantly, to all of Clipper Nation for tuning in to see and hear me call 40 years of Clippers games,” said Lawler.,One of the NBA’s longest-tenured broadcasters, Lawler, 80, joined the then San Diego Clippers in the team’s first year in California, 1978, where he spent six years before moving with the Clippers to Los Angeles.,In addition to the California Sportscaster of the Year honor, Lawler’s commitment to his craft has been recognized with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Emmys, a Telly Award and inductions into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the California Sports Hall of Fame.,Familiar faces from the Clippers’ past and present are paying tribute to Lawler in his final season by joining him to provide game commentary throughout the season. read more

The player nicknamed Joker finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his 21st career triple-double to help the Western Conference-leading Nuggets extend their home winning streak to 11 by cruising past the Los Angeles Clippers 121-100 on Thursday night.,Jokic did a little bit of everything, including the pass of the night when he lofted a full-length strike over a defender to Jamal Murray for a dunk in the third quarter.,This capped off the night: Jokic and Miller exchanging jerseys.,These days, the same can be said of Jokic, who was coming off a game in Miami on Tuesday in which he had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.,NATIONAL TREASURES

Jokic, who's from Serbia, currently sits in seventh place among Western Conference frontcourt players in the All-Star voting by fans. read more

Kyle Kuzma scored a career-high 41 points in three quarters against his childhood team, joining some rarified company in the process.,Kuzma had 22 points in the third quarter, hitting four 3-pointers to get the crowd on its feet and scoring on consecutive goaltending calls.,Detroit's Blake Griffin, averaging a career-high 25.3 points per game, was held to 16.,Ball hit a 3-pointer and Kuzma had five points before James came on the court to cheer his teammates during a timeout.,Lakers: James (left groin strain) is set to be re-evaluated Friday and won't travel with the team for its game in Utah.

Harris, one of the NBA's top first-quarter scorers, started slow but still ended up with 28 points and the Clippers overcame a sluggish opening to beat the Orlando Magic 106-96 on Sunday.,Los Angeles outscored the Magic by eight points in the second quarter and by 12 points in the second half.,Vucevic had 11 rebounds in the first quarter to help the Magic take a 28-18 lead, but they blew a double-digit first-half lead for the second consecutive game after falling at Minnesota on Friday night.,Orlando led 47-45 at halftime, and the Clippers took their first lead just under two minutes into the second half on Marcin Gortat's turnaround basket.,Clippers: The last time the Clippers lost to the Magic was a 98-90 decision at Orlando on Nov. 6, 2013.