Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns game preview

Lin-Dragic III-not as good as Rocky III, but we'll take it - USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets take on the Suns for the third time this season. The teams have split the previous two matchups with the home team winning both times.

Houston Rockets Tickets

Since March 1, the Suns have won two games.

Yep, two. 37 days, 17 games, 2 wins.

And one was against the Rockets. The other was against the Lakers.

"Huh?" you ask. Yes, I agree.

There have been plenty of close games, so don't think the Suns are tanking. They aren't. But losing isn't the worst thing in the world for them, and they get another lottery pick if the Lakers miss the postseason.

The Rockets lost to the Suns in March, then turned around and promptly beat them four days later. It was a big win at the time because the Rockets had been playing with fire and needed to get under control before the 7-game homestand. They did that and have played pretty well since.

Tonight is a big game too because the magic number is two and every game counts. Let's make the p-word before we start talking about seeds and matchups, shall we?

No matchups again today because I hate trying to guess who's going to play with the potential of Parsons and Delfino being out. Those guys need to get healthy quickly, because this team needs them.

Tip-off at 7pm CST.

Other meaningful games today

Oklahoma City vs. Utah (8pm)

New Orleans vs. Los Angeles (9:30pm)

Minnesota vs. Golden State (9:30pm)

Since the Lakers were passed by the Jazz, our magic number should revolve around Lakers losses + Rockets wins. So clinching the p-word tonight is highly unlikely even with a win over the Suns. Also, it's an odd coincidence that teams 6-9 are all playing at home tonight. Utah has the most difficult matchup, since the other three teams are playing lottery teams.

Update: I shouldn't try to do math at 2am. Our magic number still revolves around Rockets wins + Utah losses actually. So Rockets win plus a Jazz loss to the Thunder would clinch it.

Let's leave it to the professionals. Ben Eagle at SI.com broke down tonight's matchup implications. rediction: Rockets take care of business, take down Suns 111-98.

For a Suns perspective, check out Bright Side of the Sun

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