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Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers game preview

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Clippers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

I was sorely tempted to write “The Clippers need this game and Houston doesn’t so Clippers win. Save yourselves the torture of watching the TNT crew spend the entire game telling us that this loss will prove Harden isn’t the MVP.”

Technically I still wrote it, but there’s more.

Just over a month ago, the Clippers had dreams of grabbing the 3 seed from the Rockets. There was a template and everything. Then the Rockets went into Los Angeles and demolished the Clippers to take the tiebreaker. That basically ended LA’s quest to avoid the Warriors in Round 2 (if they advance), and Houston turned its sights to holding off the Jazz.

The Clippers are still in a fight for home court advantage in the first round against the Utah Jazz. The Clippers have the tiebreaker and both teams are 49-31 with two left to play. The Clippers have Houston and Sacramento while the Jazz have the Warriors and Spurs.

The Rockets have already declared Lou Williams and Nene out tonight. With the Rockets waving the white flag tonight, they should absolutely allow Bobby Brown, Troy Williams, and the D-League crew to get plenty of minutes. Then Houston can have everyone play on Wednesday against the Timberwolves in the season finale.

Tip-off is at 9:30pm CT on TNT.