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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 9th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (31-49) at Houston Rockets (41-38), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets are already out of playoff contention and will begin the final homestand of the season tonight versus the Los Angeles Clippers from the Toyota Center.
Houston will also welcome rival Dallas to Space City before wrapping up the 2010-11 campaign next week in Minnesota.
The Rockets have lost two in a row and four of seven games since a five-game winning streak, and sustained a 101-93 loss against New Orleans the last time out on Wednesday in the Big Easy. Chris Paul finished one rebound short of a triple-double with 28 points, 10 assists and nine boards for the Hornets. Kevin Martin scored 21 points, while Luis Scola and Goran Dragic added 16 apiece for Houston, which was outscored, 30-17, in the second quarter after owning a 38-21 advantage following the first 12 minutes of action.
"They played very physical, we played our tails off," said Houston head coach Rick Adelman. "We did everything we could do, we just didn't do enough."
Chase Budinger ended with 12 points and Chuck Hayes delivered eight with 10 rebounds in a losing effort. Houston also committed 17 turnovers for 24 Hornets points. The Rockets are 24-15 at home this season.
The Clippers are playing out the string and have only two games remaining on the schedule. They are slated to host Memphis next week in the season finale and have lost two straight and four of six games, including Friday's 107-96 loss in Dallas.
Mo Williams had 29 points and Rookie of the Year candidate Blake Griffin contributed 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Clippers, who had 22 turnovers, leading to 28 Dallas points.
"The obvious thing is to take care of the ball better, slow down a little bit, not try to force things, not try make it all on one play, just trying to get a solid look, a good basketball play," Griffin said. "For us, I think that's the main thing."
Eric Gordon posted 11 points in defeat. Los Angeles is 1-2 on a four-game road trek which concludes tonight and owns a 9-31 mark as the guest.
The Clippers could be without some inside help on Saturday, as center Chris Kaman (knee) and forward Ryan Gomes (knee) are both questionable.
LA has lost two of three meetings with Houston this season and is just 6-24 in the past 30 matchups between the two clubs. The Clippers have lost six of seven and 12 of the previous 15 games in Space City.
04/09 10:43:23 ET
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