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Rockets vs. Blazers game thread: Time for the rubber match

This game has all of the implications

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I understand the magnitude of this game has lost a little bit of its luster without Wesley Matthews, and the knowledge that the Blazers are no longer serious contenders without him.

But still. This is a team we've all come to either despise or root against with a begrudging respect, depending on your sense of priorities. And the Rockets being in third place and playing better and better as team -- something that's been lost in a lot of this recent MVP chatter -- can always use more chances to see how it does against teams that have traditionally given them trouble.

I'll be looking to see how Terrence Jones holds up against LaMarcus Aldridge, Patrick Beverley regaining his form while defending Damian Lillard and for James Harden to make it three straight games dropping 40 on the Blazers.

9:30 p.m. on ESPN. Discuss.