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Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers game preview

Houston Rockets v LA Clippers Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

The Houston Rockets will look to bounce back after their tough loss at Madison Square Garden to the New York Knicks, a game in which Houston was outplayed for large stretches and were unable to contain even the simple pick-and-roll actions that New York threw at them.

Unlike the Utah game, tonight’s game does not have tiebreaker implications. Houston currently leads the season series 2-1, but even with a loss tonight the Rockets will own the tiebreaker due to being a division leader. No, tonight’s game matters because it’s a big game. If the Rockets can pull out the win, they will once again be a game behind the Clippers and Denver Nuggets, making the Knicks loss a wash overall.

Of course, beating the Clippers isn’t an easy task that can be completed on a whim. The Clips have won their last five games, four by double digits. The NBA is getting awfully close to their desired setup of an LA-LA conference finals.

The Clippers are one of the few teams that can match up with Houston’s small ball approach. With Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Landry Shamet, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Marcus Morris, LA has the guys that can play this style. Reggie Jackson and JaMychal Green can also be plugged into this lineup. It should make for a fun ending if the game is close late. Houston passed its first two tests against a team that could match up with the Pocket Rockets when they beat Boston twice. This test promises to be tougher.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on TNT