Los Angeles Clippers (47-23, third in the Western Conference) vs. Houston Rockets (16-54, 15th in the Western Conference) Houston; Friday, 9 p.m. EDT BOTTOM LINE: Houston enters the matchup with Los Angeles as losers of seven in a row. The Rockets have gone 10-31 against Western Conference teams. Houston is 8-26 in games when turning the ball over more than opponents and averages 14.7 turnovers. The Clippers are 27-13 against Western Conference opponents. Los Angeles is third in the Western Conference allowing just 107.5 points while holding opponents to 46.2% shooting. The teams square off for the third time this season. The Clippers won 109-104 in the last meeting on April 23. Paul George led LA with 33 points, and John Wall led Houston with 27 points. TOP PERFORMERS: Armoni Brooks leads the Rockets averaging 2.8 made 3-pointers, and is scoring 10.6 points per game while shooting 38.6% from beyond the arc. Kenyon Martin Jr. is averaging two made 3-pointers and 17.8 points over the last 10 games for Houston. Ivica Zubac leads the Clippers with 7.4 rebounds and averages 9.2 points. George is averaging 18.7 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 35.8% over the last 10 games for Los Angeles. LAST 10 GAMES: Rockets: 1-9, averaging 116.5 points, 42.8 rebounds, 26.5 assists, 7.9 steals and 3.8 blocks per game while shooting 46.7% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 127.8 points on 52.7% shooting. Clippers: 6-4, averaging 108.5 points, 44.6 rebounds, 24.3 assists, 6.5 steals and 3.7 blocks per game while shooting 47.2% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 103.4 points on 44.6% shooting. INJURIES: Rockets: Avery Bradley: out (personal), D.J. Wilson: out (health and safety protocols), Dante Exum: out (calf), Kevin Porter Jr.: out (ankle), David Nwaba: out (wrist), Sterling Brown: out (knee), John Wall: out for season (hamstring), Eric Gordon: out (groin), Christian Wood: out (ankle), Danuel House: out (ankle). Clippers: Serge Ibaka: out (back), Amir Coffey: out (health and safety protocols). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar. The Associated Press
The Lakers raised their 2020 NBA championship banner, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis thanking fans, then beat Houston without their two stars.
The Atlanta Hawks clinched their first playoff berth since 2016 with a 120-116 come-from-behind victory over the Washington Wizards, and the New York Knicks were assured of their first post-season spot since 2013 when the Boston Celtics fell 102-94 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.