They might not be at full strength yet, but the LA Clippers will have a bit more firepower entering Friday night’s game against the Houston Rockets than they did on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies (though they still managed to miraculously pull a win out of that game).
LA was out six rotation players on Wednesday, including their two superstars in Kawhi Leonard, who sat with a sore right foot for the fifth time in six games, and Paul George, who was benched for rest on the second night of a back to back. While Leonard will miss yet another contest with his foot injury, the Clippers reported that Paul George is good to go in Houston.
Reggie Jackson, who also rested against the Grizzlies, will be active on Friday as well. Additionally, Rajon Rondo, who sat with right wrist inflammation, has been upgraded to “questionable” to suit up against the Rockets.
Patrick Beverley (fractured hand) and Serge Ibaka (lower back tightness) will remain out with their long-term injuries.
The return of George alone changes the dynamic for the Clippers entirely. George is in the midst of one of the best scoring stretches of his career, scoring 32 or more points in six of his last seven games. He’ll attempt to extend this streak against the no. 25-ranked defense in Houston.
Houston was officially eliminated from the playoff race earlier this week, but they’ve been unofficially tanking ever since they traded away James Harden back in January. LA had no trouble taking care of business in their last matchup against them, winning handily by a score of 126-109, though John Wall didn’t play in that game.
The Clippers have been on an amazing stretch since the All-Star break, going 18-5. Other than a bad loss to the Magic, they’ve done a solid job of beating the teams they’re supposed to during this stretch (the Detroits, the Minnesotas, etc.). The Rockets definitely fall into that category, so an LA win should be expected on Friday in Houston.
How to Watch
Matchup: LA Clippers (42-19) at Houston Rockets (15-44)
Date: Friday, April 23
Time: 5:00 p.m. PST
Venue: Toyota Center
Broadcast: NBA League Pass
Spread: Clippers -10
Moneyline: Rockets +400, Clippers -520
Point Total: O/U 223
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook