The Los Angeles Clippers (20-9) will head north to the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors (16-13) for a marquee Western Conference matchup on Christmas Day.
These two Pacific Division foes met for the first time this season at Staples Center on Oct. 31. The Clippers came away with a 126-115 victory behind a tremendous performance from point guard Chris Paul. CP3 finished with 42 points, 15 assists and six steals.
So without further ado, let's take a look at the television schedule, injury report, highlight some key players and predict a winner in our Clippers vs. Warriors Christmas Day preview.
When: Wednesday, December 25 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Clippers Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
G Reggie Bullock, Questionable, Ankle
G J.J. Redick, Out, Wrist
Warriors Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
C Jermaine O'Neal, Out, Wrist
C Festus Ezeli, Out, Knee
Clippers Player to Watch: Chris Paul
The Clippers floor general toyed with the Warriors throughout their first meeting in October. CP3 had a historic night by becoming the first player since 1973-74 to record at least 40 points, 15 assists and five steals in a game.
Paul is averaging 19.2 points, 11.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game through 27 games played this season. He's the engine that makes the Clippers run, and he'll need to have another big game if the Clips are going to take down Stephen Curry's Warriors.
Warriors Player to Watch: Stephen Curry
While Chris Paul stole the show in the first meeting of the season between these two teams, Stephen Curry had a great night in his own right.
The Warriors sharpshooter finished with 38 points, drained nine of 14 attempts from beyond the arc and added nine assists to the box score.
Despite the hot shooting from Curry, Paul's stingy defense helped force the 25-year-old into committing 11 turnovers. Many of those miscues allowed the Clippers to get out in transition and score easy buckets.
Look for Curry to redeem the loss by taking better care of the ball while posting his usual shooting numbers.
Key Matchup: Chris Paul vs. Stephen Curry
Were you expecting anything different for the key matchup between these two squads?
This point guard duel features arguably the best point guard in the NBA (Paul), and another floor general who's arguably in the top five at his position.
The last time these two stars met up, they combined for 80 points, 24 assists and 11 three-pointers. Look for Doc Rivers and Mark Jackson to make coaching adjustments in order to slow these guys down, but that's honestly easier said than done.
The Clippers and Warriors rank fifth and 11th in scoring, respectively. Both teams scored well over 100 points in their last meeting, so there's no reason to expect a low-scoring affair in this one.
Which team will win?
With these two high-powered offenses going head-to-head, another shootout is to be expected.
The Clippers won the previous matchup by jumping out to a 36-26 lead after the first quarter. Considering that the Warriors are fighting to solidify a playoff spot, though, I believe they'll get a lift from the home crowd and manage to acquire an extra present on Christmas Day.
Warriors 120 - Clippers 116