The Clippers hopes for a playoff spot ended weeks ago but thanks to a recent winning streak, the Rockets postseason hopes are still alive, as these two meet tonight.

Rockets at Clippers

The Houston Rockets will be after its third straight win over the LA Clippers when the two teams collide tonight at Staples Center.  

The Rockets are unbeaten since the All-Star break posting wins over Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans and Portland. They seemed to be waving a white surrender flag on the season when they traded Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks but they haven’t lost since then and are now back into the playoff picture.

Houston Rockets (31-31 SU & 32-28-2 ATS)

Houston RicketsTwo months after a loss in Portland dropped them under the .500 mark; the Rockets completed their journey back to break even by whipping the Trail Blazers 103-87 at the Rose Garden last night.  Kyle Lowry had 21 points and 11 assists while Luis Scola added 21 points leading the Rockets to their fifth straight victory and a season-best six-game road winning streak. Houston has now won six of seven games against teams with winning records.

The Rockets are in 11th place in the West, but just three games behind seventh-place Portland and Memphis, currently in eighth. They’re 17-6 against teams with losing records and the next three games will be against the Clippers, Pacers and Kings.

The Rockets won the first two meetings with the Clippers this season holding them to an average of 87.5 points, 17.0 beneath Houston’s season average. The Rockets have also won three of their last four when playing the second half of a back-to-back. Scola has shined in that situation averaging 20.6 points and 7.9 rebounds on 52.2 percent shooting. These statistics alone almost surely mean that they will be favored in the betting odds.

Los Angeles Clippers (21-40 SU & 28-32-1 ATS)

Blake Griffin LA’s season has gone from bad to worse. The Clippers have lost five in a row and are 2-12 SU and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games. If not for Blake Griffin, the locals would have lost interest in this group weeks ago.

The Clippers are coming off a 105-99 loss to Sacramento on Monday night. Blake Griffin had his 51st double-double of the season with 27 points and 12 rebounds and is now averaging 22.9 points and 12.5 rebounds on the year. He’s been solid in both games against the Rockets, averaging 19 points and 14.5 rebounds. Mo Williams, acquired in an exchange of point guards that sent Baron Davis to Cleveland, had 16 points and five assists Monday in his Clippers debut. Randy Foye has filled in admirably for injured guard Eric Gordon averaging 10 points per outing and center DeAndre Jordan has double-double potential.

Eric Gordon, LA’s leading scorer at 24 ppg has been out of action since January 22nd due to a bone chip fracture and sprain in his right wrist. With Eric Gordin injured, the Clippers are 4-10 ATS while the ‘under’ is 9-5. He could play tonight but is currently listed as a game time decision.

Trends:

Houston is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games against teams from the Pacific Division. The Rockets are also 7-1 vs. against the number in their last eight overall.

The favorite is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings while the road team is 14-5-1 vs. the number.

The Clippers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games and six of their last eight game have played ‘under’ the totals set by the NBA odds makers.

Harvey’s take: A small play on the Clippers is in order tonight. Even though LA is in the midst of its annual ‘fade’ they’ll be facing a tired Rockets team that’s also on the second night of a back-to-back situation. The Rockets do look to be the better team, but NBA bettors should keep in mind that they are worn down and need a break. Take the Clippers.