The Houston Rockets (49-22) will look to get their 12th straight home victory Saturday night when they host the visiting Los Angeles Clippers (51-22). More importantly, the win would bring Houston into a third-place tie with L.A. The Clippers, on the other hand, will look to sweep the season series with the Rockets. With Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley both out, the Clippers should have little trouble getting the much-needed road victory.
AccuScore has the Rockets as slight 51.7 percent favorites to win Saturday night. The average score after 10,000 simulations is 105-104. Keep in mind these simulations were done with Howard in the Rockets starting lineup. Taking him off the roster not only shifts the probability of winning in favor of the Clippers, but also minimizes the rebounding advantage the Rockets had in simulations.
Blake Griffin: 21 points (49% FG), 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block
Chris Paul: 15 points (44% FG), 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 turnovers
James Harden: 22 points (43% FG), 5 assists, 5 rebounds
Chandler Parsons: 14 points (46% FG), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal
What to Watch For
This season against Houston, Chris Paul is averaging 17 points, 13 assists and 2 steals per game. The Clippers have won by an average margin of 13 points in those three games.
Houston is forced to revert to its 2012-2013 lineup with Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik in for the injured regulars. They are 13-6 in games in which Lin has started at the point guard position. Houston is 3-0 in games that Asik has replaced an injured Howard in the starting lineup. Overall, the Rockets are 8-3 with Asik starting this season.
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