LA Clippers at Houston Rockets Preview
The Clippers and Rockets meet for the fourth and final time this season as they matchup on Thursday night.
The Clippers come into Thursday’s game having won five straight games including Tuesday nights 109-94 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The winning streak comes after the Clippers had lost three straight which prompted Kawhi Leonard to say “the time is now” to start playing better. LA comes into the game with a 42-19 record and sits as the No. 2 team in the Western Conference.
The Rockets saw their six-game winning streak snapped on Monday as they fell to the New York Knicks 125-123. Houston is now 7-3 since the trade for Robert Covington which saw them adopt a small-ball style. The Rockets are 39-21 overall and No. 4 in the West.
This is the final meeting during the regular season between the teams as the Rockets lead the series 2-1. In their last meeting, Houston won 122-117.
Time: 8 PM ET
Arena: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
LA Clippers Starting Lineup
The Clippers come into the game with the NBA’s longest current winning streak at five games. The winning streak has helped propel the team into the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
LA was dominant in their win over the Thunder on Tuesday night. After jumping out to a 38-27 lead after the first quarter the Clippers found themselves only up 43-42 in the second quarter with five minutes left. LA would respond with a 16-5 run to end the quarter and the game was never in doubt after that.
The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard who finished with 25 points and eight rebounds. Leonard was 9-20 from the field and also had two steals.
He was one of four Clippers to score in double figures as Paul George, Lou Williams, and Montrez Harrell also scored over 10 points.
LA is 17-13 this season on the road and 25-13 vs the Western Conference.
The Clippers have the NBA’s No. 5 offense and No. 5 defense. During their five-game winning streak, the Clippers have the NBA’s best offense at 122.1 points per 100 possesions.
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
Houston had been on a roll before Monday’s game vs New York. The Rockets had won six straight games including impressive wins over the Jazz and Celtics (twice).
Houston struggled to deal with the Knicks size as New York had 76 rebounds to the Rockets 42. The Knicks also 64 points in the paint while the Rockets finished with 36.
Leading the way for Houston was James Harden who finished with 35 points and eight assists. He shot 8-22 from the field and 3-13 from three.
Harden has shot 15-46 from the field in his last two games and 7-30 from three.
Houston is 21-8 at home this season and 24-16 vs the Western Conference.
The Rockets have the league’s No. 2 offense and No. 15 defense on the season.
Key Player Matchups
Paul George vs. James Harden
A matchup between two players who are capable of going off for big games. George has struggled this season with staying healthy but he has looked good lately and appears to be finding his footing.
As for Harden, he is almost a guarantee to get 30 points and at least seven assists. The Clippers will need to contain as best they can. Harden is averaging 37.3 points and 9.7 assists vs the Clippers this season while shooting 48.6% from three.
Kawhi Leonard vs. Danuel House
Kawhi Leonard has been outstanding for the Clippers this season and is getting some attention as an MVP candidate. He is averaging 25.0 points and 9.0 rebounds vs Houston this season but this will be his first game vs them since they traded for Covington.
Look for Covington and House to split time guarding Leonard.
The top option for fantasy basketball in the Clippers-Rockets matchup is James Harden. He is available for $11.2k and has a projection of 51.7 points.
If looking for a cheaper option then consider Paul George who costs $6.9k and is projected to score 36 points.
Bet on Matchup
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