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Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers game preview

Houston Rockets v Phoenix Sunsˆ Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Tonight ends the unofficial first half of the NBA season, though teams have actually played more than two-thirds of their total games at this point.

The Houston Rockets could avoid completely stumbling into the All-Star Break tonight with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, who are desperately holding on to the eighth seed in the Western Conference standings. Obviously, teams in the play-in zone want to move into the top 6, but if you have to be in the play-in, 8th place isn’t a bad place to be. You are guaranteed two chances to get into the real postseason, and the second game would be a home game. Of course, the Golden State Warriors became the first 8 seed not to make the playoffs last year, which is one of my favorite fun facts.

The Clippers are awaiting word on the return of their two superstars. Paul George seems to be inching closer to a return, but word on Kawhi Leonard has been scarce, as usual. However, if the Clippers do find a way to put those two on the court in the playoffs, they’re going to be a nightmare matchup. You can already hear butts clenching in Dallas.

Tip-off is at 9:30pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest