Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers Preview
As the NBA Playoffs approach there is a lot of tension building around teams that are both fighting for a
playoff spot and those that seek home court advantage. The Houston Rockets (49-28) currently sit fourth
in the Western Conference playoff race with MVP candidate James Harden at the helm. They enter
Wednesday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers (47-31) winners of four out of their last five
games. The Clippers come into this game at +1.5 for this game.
Rockets Anchored by Harden
Houston defeated the second-ranked Denver Nuggets 112-85 last Thursday, and followed that victory
with another one against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, 119-108.
Harden had 50 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, scoring 10 straight Houston points down the stretch
to help the Rockets counteract the young and fast-paced Kings.
“They made a run, which we knew they were going to have in them,” Harden said. “But I just tried to be
aggressive, whether it was making an assist or getting to the basket or shooting my shot. That was it.”
Harden had his 42nd career triple-double and third 50-point game in the past six. He made seven 3-
pointers to become the ninth player in NBA history to reach 2,000 career 3s. It was his NBA-record fifth
50-point triple-double, which is two more than second-place Russell Westbrook and the second this
Coach Mike D’Antoni, who is in his third season with the Rockets, continues to be impressed by Harden’s
“It’s remarkable what he does, and he does it every night,” D’Antoni said. “I keep thinking, ‘Gosh, can he do
this every game?’ And then he does it for three years.”
Clippers Seeking to Finish Strong
The Los Angeles Lakers were the talk of the offseason when LeBron James agreed to come and where
the purple and gold. Nobody was talking about the Clippers but here they are sitting as the sixth best
team in the West. The Lakers have long been eliminated from playoff contention, and the team that
everyone thought was in a rebuilding season is set to take on the three-seeded Portland Trail Blazers in
the first round of the playoffs.
The streaking Clippers are closing in on 50 wins with four games remaining in the regular season. It’s a
number few would have imagined last fall and again after trading leading scorer Tobias Harris in
Danilo Gallinari wasn’t one of them.
“I was very confident in this team from the beginning,” he said.
“It was a good night for the team, especially the second night of a back-to-back,” Gallinari said. “You
always want to come out aggressive and keep the intensity up.”
The Clippers closed March with the NBA’s best record at 13-2, tying the highest winning percentage in the
month in team history set in 2014.
Montrezl Harrell added 20 points, making 10 of 11 free throws, and Lou Williams had 17 points for the
“It was one of them trap games,” Harrell said. “But we went out and took care of the things that we need
to do as a team.”
Clippers Win at Home
The Clippers are ready to get the playoffs started. Houston is a team that is getting a ton of attention,
while the Clippers are not. Look for Los Angeles to come out with energy and win this game. Bet the
Clippers to cover at +1.5.
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