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Houston Rockets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game preview

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NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at this four-game road trip for the Rockets, it’s yet another test of how serious Houston is about getting the first seed in the Western Conference.

The win over the Spurs was the “must-win” on the road trip, since San Antonio sits in third place as the biggest current challenger to the second seed. With Houston winning that game and none of the teams behind them in the standings looking like a huge threat at the moment, the team’s resolve will be tested.

Winning in San Antonio was a win Houston needed. Now they’re playing three games that they want, which is a much tougher ask, especially when they’re on the road and facing a couple of teams looking to move up in the East standings.

Up first are the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been struggling lately but are still a force to be reckoned with. The Cavs are 22-6 at home. Since November 5, the Cavs only have two losses in Cleveland, to the Thunder and Warriors. So, despite the media’s “the sky is falling” narrative about the Cavs, they’re still the favorites to come out of the East because of that LeBron James fellow. Cleveland is 28th in defensive efficiency, but fifth on offense.

There’s also Isaiah Thomas, who is obviously just Isiah Thomas in disguise. Seriously, a Hall of Famer found a time machine, changed one letter in his name, and got some tattoos. How does no one else see this? Kyrie Irving is a flat-Earth truther, but count me as the Isaiah Thomas is Isiah Thomas truther.

Tip-off is at 7:30pm CT on ABC