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Houston Vs LA Clippers
2015/16 NBA Championship, 17 March, 2016
|Toyota Center, Houston, TX|
|LA Clippers 122 defeated Houston 106|
|Top Scorers - Houston:
|Top Rebounders - Houston:
|Top Assists - Houston:
|Top Scorers - LA Clippers:
|Top Rebounders - LA Clippers:
|Top Assists - LA Clippers:
The Houston Rockets look to consolidate their post-season position when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers, who need a confidence-restoring victory. Join The Roar for live scores from 12:30pm (AEDT).
The Rockets currently sit seventh in the Western Conference, equal with the struggling eighth-placed Dallas Mavericks, and half a game back from the sixth-placed Portland Trail Blazers.
Now, before you start thinking the battle for low seedings doesn’t matter consider this: the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, in the first two seeds, are near unbeatable. Teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers though look a lot more beatable across a seven-game series.
That means the battle for sixth place in the west is probably the biggest in the NBA, and every single game is becoming more and more important – particularly ones like this for Houston, where they are playing at home.
The Rockets have been in strong form winning five of their last seven. Their last victory, over the Memphis Grizzlies, was an absolute thumping, winning by 49.
While their assist totals and high field-goal percentage were impressive, Houston will be focused on a defensive effort that caused 19 turnovers and a shooting percentage of under 30 from the Grizzlies.
The Clippers meanwhile, still without Blake Griffin, are feeling the pressure. Luckily for them, the Grizzlies suffered another loss, so they keep their fourth-spot advantage of 3.5 games, but they have lost four of their last six and there is only so much Chris Paul can do.
Granted, the losses have come against some of the best teams in the NBA in the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks, but if LA want to be a contender in the playoffs, these are the teams they must beat.
Chris Paul and James Harden for are the keys for Houston. Harden is averaging 28 points per game while Paul has a more assist-focused game, but is still averaging nearly 20 points. If Houston defend as they have done, then assists may not work for Paul and he may have to pick up the slack by scoring.
The last time these sides met, the Clippers took it by eight at home, in overtime.
Houston have plenty to play for here, and with an advantage inside the paint should get the job done.
Houston by 4.
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Follow Scott on Twitter @sk_pryde