The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers are two of the hottest teams in the NBA at this point of the season, and both will carry plenty of momentum into the NBA Playoffs. This game is extremely important for both teams, as the Rockets and Clippers are working hard to improve their playoff seed. There is a very good chance that the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers will meet up in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.
Houston is in a tight battle with the Portland Trail Blazers for the number three seed in the Western Conference. The Rockets are Southwest Division champions for the second straight season, but they definitely want to try to avoid the Golden State Warriors in the 2nd round of the playoffs. The Los Angeles Clippers currently sit in 6th place in the West but have a great shot to jump up to 5th. Los Angeles is a -1.0 point favorite over Houston in this game.
Clippers Finished Terrific Month of March
The Los Angeles Clippers were supposed to fade down the stretch this season, but they went the complete opposite way in the month of March. Los Angeles finished the month with a 13-2 record, and their offense continues to put up points in bunches. The Clippers are averaging 115.1 points per game this season, despite trading their leading scorer, Tobias Harris, away before the trade deadline. Los Angeles shoots 39 percent from deep, and their shooting has them where they are in the standings.
Even though Lou Williams comes off the bench for the Los Angeles Clippers, he is still one of the best scorers in the NBA. Williams is averaging 20.3 points and 5.3 assists this season, and he is an immediate difference maker when he takes the floor. Danilo Gallinari has also been tremendous for the Clippers this season, pouring in more than 19 points per game. The Clippers need all of the scoring that they can get because they give up more than 113 points per game. Los Angeles will have their hands full with James Harden in this game.
Harden Just Won’t Stop Scoring
James Harden was the Most Valuable Player a season ago, and he looks like he is going to win that award for the second straight season. Harden pumped in 50 points over the weekend in another triple-double performance against the Sacramento Kings. He leads the entire NBA with 36.4 points per game, and there is no doubt that he is looking forward to taking on this Clippers defense. The Rockets are averaging 112.9 points per game this season, and that is in large part thanks to Harden’s heroics almost every single night.
The Houston Rockets went through a rough stretch during the month of January, but they were missing a very important piece to their puzzle. Houston has been a much different team since center Clint Capela came back to the team, and he is having the best season of his young career. Capela is pouring in 16.6 points while grabbing 12.6 rebounds per game and is also the anchor of the much improved Rockets defense. Eric Gordon and Chris Paul are also terrific two-way players for the Rockets, and this team looks poised for another playoff run.
Clippers Win Important Home Game
Even though the Los Angeles Clippers struggle on the defensive end of the floor, their offense is good enough to make up for it on most night. This game should be a shootout, and that should favor the Clippers on their home floor. Houston will be worn out from a game on Tuesday night, and the Clippers will pick up a very important home win. Bet the Los Angeles Clippers -1.0 over the Houston Rockets.