The Los Angeles Clippers reportedly nudged the reset button by trading away leading scorer Tobias Harris, setting themselves up for a star-studded free agency period this summer while making their 2018-19 playoff goals a bit harder to attain. The Clippers will unveil a new lineup when they visit the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.
Los Angeles is rumored to be a preferred destination for stars like Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard, and the Clippers made sure they could stay in the race against the Lakers for those stars and others by shipping out Harris, center Bojan Marjanovic and forward Mike Scott. Los Angeles will reportedly receive rookie guard Landry Shamet and veteran forwards Mike Muscala and Wilson Chandler along with two first-round draft picks and a pair of second rounders. The Pacers aren't rumored to be big players in the trade market ahead of Thursday's deadline but showed off just how dangerous they can be against a team reeling from trade rumors when they blasted the Lakers 136-94 on Tuesday. "You just go out there and play hard and you live with the results," Indiana point guard Darren Collison told reporters after the victory. "I thought tonight we played hard and we didn't really care what was going on around us."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), FS Indiana LINE: Pacers -6.5
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (30-25): Los Angeles still had Harris in uniform on Tuesday night at Charlotte and watched him go off for 34 points on 13-of-21 shooting, including 6-of-7 from beyond the arc, in a 117-115 triumph over the Hornets. Lou Williams scored 31 points off the bench in the win and will be leaned on even more as the go-to scorer with Harris out of the lineup and small forward Danilo Gallinari (back) making his way back from injury. The Clippers occupy the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference and improved to 2-1 on a six-game road trip that will take them through Boston and Minnesota before a home game against Phoenix leads them into the All-Star break.
ABOUT THE PACERS (35-19): Indiana dropped four games in a row after All-Star guard Victor Oladipo went down with a season-ending knee injury but picked themselves up with wins in the last three contests, highlighted by Tuesday's demolition of the Lakers. The Pacers are asking more from the young backcourt tandem of Edmond Sumner and Aaron Holiday with Oladipo down and the two scored 17 points apiece off the bench on Tuesday while going a combined 14-of-19 from the floor and 6-of-8 from 3-point range. "Our young guys played really well tonight," Collison told reporters. "They handle adversity pretty good. I know they seem like they've been overthinking, but tonight they just kind of played their games out there. They had fun and they gave us a boost."
1. Pacers C Myles Turner blocked four shots on Tuesday and leads the NBA at an average of 2.67.
2. Clippers PG Patrick Beverley is 10-of-15 from 3-point range over the last four games.
3. Indiana swept the two-game series in each of the last two seasons.
PREDICTION: Pacers 120, Clippers 114 Bet Now
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