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Both off to a terrific start in a crowded Western conference, the Los Angeles Clippers (3-0, 1-0 away) and Portland Trail Blazers (3-1, 1-0) meet at the Moda Center on Thursday night. This one didn’t get the TNT double-header treatment, but it has a good chance to be the best game of the night.
Tip is scheduled for about 10:10 p.m. ET and will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports Prime Tickets (Clippers market) and NBC Sports Northwest (Blazers market). Depending on your location, your options for watching a live stream of the game will be different.
If You’re in the Clippers Market:
FuboTV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package. It costs $19.99 per month for the first two months, but a free 7-day trial is offered, allowing you to watch tonight’s game at no cost.
DirecTV Now: Fox Sports Prime Ticket is included in the “Just Right”, “Go Big” and “Gotta Have It” channel packages. Those range from $50 to $70 per month, but a free 7-day trial is offered, allowing you to watch tonight’s game at no cost.
Sling TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. It costs $25 per month, but a free 7-day trial is offered, allowing you to watch tonight’s game at no cost.
If You’re in the Blazers Market:
FuboTV: The “Fubo Premier” channel package is the only streaming service that includes NBC Sports Northwest. It costs $19.99 per month for the first two months, but a free 7-day trial is offered, allowing you to watch tonight’s game at no cost.
If You’re Outside the Clippers & Blazers Markets:
NBA League Pass: Allows you to watch all non-nationally televised, out-of-market games. If you want to watch all teams, it costs $28.99 per month or $199.99 for the year. Or, if you just want to watch one team, it costs $17.99 per month or $119.99 for the year.
No Chris Paul, no problem. With Patrick Beverly replacing the All-Star at point guard, and with the offense now running primarily through point-forward Blake Griffin, the Clippers are off to a tremendous 3-0 start, beating the Lakers, Suns and Jazz by a combined 76 points.
The Blazers have been similarly impressive, going 3-1 with each of their victories by double-digits, and their only defeat by three points at Milwaukee.
It’s obviously still very early, but the Clips and Blazers enter this matchup ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the NBA in net rating. Part of that has been because both got to play the Suns while Earl Watson was still around, but both have nevertheless made some resounding statements over the first week.
For the Clips, Griffin has become the engine of the offense with Paul in Houston. The big man is handling the ball more and has seen his usage percentage jump from an already-high 27.8 last year to 30.3 through the first two games. As a result, he’s putting up some monster numbers: 26.7 points on 50.9 percent shooting, 2.7 threes on 44.4 percent shooting, 9.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists.
Should he stay healthy, Griffin looks primed for an All-NBA campaign.
For the Blazers, it has been a familiar sight, as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum continue to make their case as the NBA’s best backcourt, averaging a combined 46.7 points, 5.3 threes, 10.2 rebounds and 7.1 assists. Though McCollum is often considered the Robin to Lillard’s Batman, he’s been scorching to start the year, hitting 54.9 percent of his shots and an absurd 66.7 percent of his 5.0 three-point attempts per contest.
In other words, there’s going to be a lot of star power on the court Thursday night. That very well could mean a role player like Lou Williams or Mo Harkless ends up making the difference, but this should be a thriller no matter what.
Oddsmakers favor Portland by three points with an over/under of 214, the highest on the night.