NBA Free Pick & Prediction L.A Clippers vs. Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers (51-22, 20-17 away) @ Houston Rockets (49-22, 29-7 home) 02/29- 8:00PM EST
Line: HOU -1.5
Yet another big Western Conference showdown will take place on Saturday night when Los Angeles visits the Houston Rockets as the Clippers will be going for the season sweep.
The Rockets (49-22) will be in quest of their 12th straight home victory on Saturday night and a win against a team they have yet to defeat this season will draw them into a third-place tie in the tough Western Conference.
Houston is also riding a five game win streak, having won three of those without center Dwight Howard who was sidelined with a left ankle strain and he responded in his second game back with 17 points and 13 boards in their 120-98 smack down of the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.
James Harden continued his all-star season performance by recording a triple-double with 26 points, 10 boards and 10 assists.
“We did a great job of coming out tonight and taking care of business,” said Harden who’s been on a scoring tear averaging 31.3 over his last three games. He is also 12 of 23 from behind the arc in that same span.
Speaking of tears, the Rockets have been lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 118.2 points per game during their win streak and are averaging the same amount of points over their last nine games at the Toyota Center beating opposing teams by an average of 14.6 points per contest.
Having Howard back in the mix and with the team putting points on the board, the Rockets will need all they can muster against the Clippers…. a team that has dominated them winning eight of nine, including taking the first three games by an average of 13.3 points this season.
Los Angeles (51-22) is challenging the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs for the West’s best record and are closing in on their second straight Pacific Division crown. However, the Clippers sit just one game ahead of fourth place Houston after dropping two consecutive games before bouncing back with a big 109-103 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.
The big three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan all responded against the Mavs after losing the night before to New Orleans and understand there is no room for nights off if they want to challenge come playoff time and make some noise.
“We knew it was going to be a playoff-type game,” Paul said. “They’re just not playing for their playoff lives; we’re trying to gear up for the playoffs too.”
Despite the Clips having their way with Houston of late, the oddsmakers have faith the home town Rockets will get it done on Saturday night making them a slight (minus -1.5) point favorite with an over/under of 216.5, but as always… stay up to date with the latest spread up until game time right here at Wonder Punter.
Tough one to call between these two teams, but I too am going to agree with the oddsmakers on this one and predict the Rockets to finally find some success and find a way to defeat the visiting Clippers in a close one.
By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter