Oklahoma City Thunder @ LA Clippers

The LA Clippers have been touted as favorites for the Western Conference now the 2014 NBA season is underway. Reaching those lofty expectations would mean overtaking the Oklahoma City Thunder, a tall order in itself.

After being swept in last season’s series, the Clippers hope to be up to the challenge Wednesday night when they host the Thunder for the first of four meetings.

Los Angeles (5-3) finished fourth in the conference last season at 56-26, while Oklahoma City (5-1) claimed the top seed with a 60-22 record. Those positions would have been reversed had a three-game season sweep gone in favor of the Clippers. Of their last 36 regular-season home games, two of the six losses have been to the Thunder.

An improved performance from Chris Paul would go some way to boosting the Clippers hopes. He averaged 17.5 points and shot 10 for 35 (28.6 percent) while playing in two of the matchups.

Russell Westbrook outplayed him, averaging 26.0 points and shooting 46.2 percent from 3-point range in three meetings.

Paul is off to a good start, becoming the first player since John Stockton in 1991-92 to record a points-assist double-double in each of his first eight games.

However, his limited contributions against the Thunder last season, combined with Kevin Durant’s stellar performances, averaging 34.0 points, proved too much for Los Angeles to overcome in the series.

The Clippers are currently -180 favourites and we’re backing them to sneak a hard-fought victory by 1-5 points.

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