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Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns game preview

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NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, the Rockets are playing a game that they really don’t care about. As opposed to other games, however, their opponents are not playing for anything.

After facing a Warriors team looking for the top seed and a Portland squad desperate to get beaten by those same Warriors, Houston faces the Phoenix Suns.

Phoenix is comfortably set to have the third-best odds in the NBA lottery, but if they can fall below the Lakers (currently one game below them in the standings), they could improve their odds significantly.

The Suns have lost 11 straight and are clearly willing to tank. With a loss last night in Portland, the Suns will be tired and have less rest than the Rockets. By my count, the Rockets have now played a team with less rest than them...one time (all stats approximate). But it surely is a nice change of pace.

Again, Houston’s magic number for the 3 seed is 3. That’s a combination of Rockets wins and Jazz losses that equals three. Both teams have six games left. Houston plays only one more playoff opponent (Clippers), while the Jazz have San Antonio twice, Portland twice, and Golden State. Something tells me Houston just might grab that 3 seed.

So I’ll be putting other important games here from now on. These will include games played by Utah as well as the three other teams Houston could see in the first round.

Sunday (all times Central)

Charlotte Hornets at Oklahoma City Thunder: 2pm

Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers: 2:30pm

Utah Jazz at San Antonio Spurs: 2:30pm

Monday

None

Tuesday

Milwaukee Bucks at Oklahoma City Thunder: 7pm on ESPN

Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs: 7:30pm

Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz: 8pm

Houston doesn’t play until Wednesday, thus the three days listed here. If no one is opposed then I will start posting these in the previews. It can serve as a supplementary viewing guide or at least something to keep an eye on.

Tip-off is at 8pm CT on NBA TV.