Two Western Conference heavyweights will do battle tonight as the Houston Rockets square off against the Los Angeles Clippers. Both teams feature a lethal superstar duo, but they have opposite focuses. Houston is backed by lethal offense-oriented stars, while the Clippers are led by a dynamic defensive pairing. This game is also particularly interesting because these teams may end up meeting in the playoffs.
Houston Rockets (11-4) @ Los Angeles Clippers (10-5)
Houston was riding an excellent winning streak before they lost to Denver. James Harden is the best scorer in the league, but he needs help from his team for them to have continued success. The last time these teams played, the Rockets did come away with a 9 point victory. Then again, the Clippers didn’t have PG13 that game so tonight is a brand new challenge.
- After winning 8 in a row, Houston lost their last game.
- The Rockets are 5-3 on the road this year.
- James Harden had a quiet, yet fairly efficient performance last game with this 27 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals on 8-16 (50%) shooting. He did have 8 turnovers, though.
- Russell Westbrook needs to shoot the ball better. Last game he finished with 25 points and 5 assists, but he shot just 8-22 (4%) from the field and 2-9 (22.2%) from 3. Just a single turnover was good for him.
- While they failed to cover the point spread last game, Houston is sitting pretty at 7-3 in their last 10.
Los Angeles Clippers
LA finally got to experience the duo of Leonard and George last game, but it wasn’t very pretty. If not for some questionable calls and Patrick Beverley making timely 3-pointers, their first game together would have been a loss. Tonight will give them another chance to show their potential and make for a cleaner victory, but it certainly won’t be easy.
- The Clippers have won their last 3 games in a row.
- LA is one of the league’s best home teams so far at 9-1.
- Kawhi Leonard honestly had a pretty rough outing against Boston, finishing with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks, but went 7-20 (35%) from the field and collected 5
- Paul George was much better with his 25 points and 8 assists on 8-18 (4%) shooting. He could have done without his 5 turnovers, though.
- The Clippers have not covered the point spread in their last 2 games and are 6-4 in their last 10.
NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -4.5
While Houston did win the last matchup, a healthy Paul George makes this game a completely different story. Now there are two elite defenders to cover Harden and Westbrook, meaning offense won’t be easy for the Rockets. The Clippers are phenomenal at home and that is not likely to change tonight. You should lay the points and bet on the Los Angeles Clippers winning tonight.