TV: League Pass

  • Rockets leading scorer James Harden will miss Saturday’s matchup with the Clippers with a sore right foot. James Anderson will start at shooting guard with Harden sidelined. “I’m sure it’s been bothering him a little bit. He’s kind of had that thing for a while,” coach Kevin McHale said. “He had a shot in [his foot] a few weeks ago and kind of played through it. It’s just one of those things. Hopefully he gets better soon. Needless to say, we need him. … I don’t know [how long he will be unavailable].”
  • Harden’s absence is not the only change to Houston’s starting lineup. Greg Smith will make his first career start at power forward instead of rookie Donatas Motiejunas, who has been relegated to a reserve role for his ineffective play early in games. “D-Mo’s got two fouls before he breaks a sweat,” McHale said. “I figured we’d try to see if someone else can get out there and not get two fouls in the first two minutes of the game. … We’re just going to try to see if we can’t play [Motiejunas] a little differently.”
  • Clippers guard Chauncey Billups (right groin strain) will sit out for the fifth time in the last six games, which means Willie Green will remain in the starting five. “I really don’t know [when Billups will return],” coach Vinny Del Negro said. “He has to get some workouts in, see how he reacts, how he works out, and then the medical staff … will tell me where he’s at.”
  • The Clippers (49-24) will take another crack at reaching two milestones in the finale of a four-game road trip. A win over Houston (39-33), coupled with a Warriors home loss to the Trail Blazers, would give L.A. its first Pacific Division title in team history. The Clippers also need a victory Saturday to set a franchise record for wins in one season. “It’s a testament to the team, to the players staying focused on the season,” Del Negro said. “Our aspirations are bigger than [winning the division], but it’s also you have to get these things done. … Obviously, there’s some added incentive or pressure, or whatever you want to put on it. We look forward to that pressure.”

Matt Miller

One Comment

  1. Greg Olver says:

    This is a really important game for the Clippers tonight and I can’t wait to see if they find a way to beat the Rockets tonight. I’ll be working my shift at DISH during the game though, so I can’t watch it until I get home tonight. I have my DISH Hopper set to record all the Clipper’s games this season and love that it can store up to 2,000 hours of entertainment to hold them all.

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