The Houston Rockets take their shot at the LA Clippers when the two meet in the City of Angels on Thursday night.
This will be a battle between two elite teams, both hoping to finally make it to the NBA Finals. James Harden had two years with Chris Paul and clear opportunities to advance to the Finals. The 27 straight missed threes in Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference finals are one reason in a string of many as to why they failed to get past the Golden State Warriors.
Russell Westbrook has had his ups and downs, but he has stayed out of Harden’s way just as much as he has led him to get even better. It’s a fun pairing.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, never even reached the conference finals during the Paul-Blake Griffin-DeAndre Jordan era of Lob City and beyond. Josh Smith and Corey Brewer took the chance away from them, and that was that.
Now the Clippers have two new superstars to go with their strong supporting cast. Both teams have key players from the other, with former Clippers Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon in Houston now. Pat Beverley, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams were all acquired by the Clippers in exchange for Paul, and the trio is now making the Rockets pay for it by dominating the league.
The spread for Thursday night’s game favors the host Clippers by 5.5 points, with the over/under set at 234.
Houston Looks For Road Win
The Rockets have James Harden scoring the ball at the best rate of his career, coming off a season in which he just did that. Scoring nearly 40 a night while playing with Westbrook, Harden has been on another level. He and Westbrook have been playing great basketball, while the supporting cast has been making threes, and Clint Capela is grabbing each and every available rebound.
Gordon is close to finally returning and making shots for them again. This is a team not to be messed with, and they will be hoping to take the Clippers into the loss column in this one.
It will be up to Westbrook to get it done for them to have a shot against the Clippers, while the defense of Rivers and PJ Tucker will also likely be vital to the Rockets’ chances at victory.
Clippers Try To Keep It Rolling
It is pretty sad that unless the Clippers are playing an elite opponent, Kawhi Leonard is never a lock to play, a dark trend in this league starting to take shape. But when he and Paul George are out there together, the Clippers tend to win more often than not.
JaMychal Green is still injured, but Los Angeles finally has Landry Shamet back in the lineup. The Clippers rank fifth in the league in points, with four guys averaging in double figures, with George, Leonard, Harrell and Williams all scoring between 19 and 25. After that, no guy is averaging more than nine, but It has worked out for them.
We will see how the Clippers perform with all of their guards playing together. This is a tough group.
Clippers Win At Home
This will be a loss for Houston in primetime, but don’t expect a tunnel confrontation as has happened in the past between these two teams. Take the Clippers.
Free play: LAC -5.5
Check Out Other Related Posts on 4Flush
100% up to $3,000 Bonus
Bovada is our most recommended ONLINE CASINO and POKER ROOM for US players with excellent deposit options. Get your 100% signup bonus today.