After a heartbreaking loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, the Los Angeles Clippers will be right back in action on Saturday when they take on the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. For the second straight day, this Clippers group will attempt to become the first team in franchise history to reach 50 wins.
In their first attempt for 50 on Friday, the Clippers lost, 104-102, to the Spurs after Chris Paul missed a potential game-tying seven-footer at the buzzer. The miss came after several clutch plays by Tim Duncan, who had 34 points and 11 rebounds. Paul struggled with his shot for much of the game, going just 5 of 14 from the field.
The Rockets fell to those Grizzlies, 103-94, on Friday night, as James Harden managed just seven points on 3-of-9 shooting. Houston has lost two in a row after going a season-high eight games over .500 last week. But despite the brief skid, the Rockets still hold a 2½-game lead over the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 7 seed in the West.
This will be the third matchup between the Clippers and Rockets this year, with Los Angeles winning both previous contests. In fact, the Clippers have won five straight meetings in the series, and they have done it with fantastic offense. During that five-game stretch, Los Angeles has scored 108.0 points per game and has shot 40.4 percent from three. The Clippers made 13 threes in the last meeting, and back on Jan. 15 in Houston, they went 11 of 19 from deep without Paul in the lineup.
It is worth noting that Harden missed the last outing between the two teams with a sprained right knee and sore left ankle. The All-Star guard has struggled against the Clippers throughout his career, but look for him to bounce back strong after his weak performance against the Grizzlies.
Something else to watch for will be the play down low. Blake Griffin has struggled historically in Houston, although he did play pretty well there earlier this season, notching 19 points and eight assists. Omer Asik is a defensive stalwart in the middle and could make life difficult when Griffin goes in the paint, but the Clippers' star has actually done well this season when the Turkish big man has been on the court.
Tip-off for the game will be at 8 p.m. ET and it will be televised on Fox Sports Prime Ticket and CSN Houston.