Clippers Finally Have Easy One Tonight in Houston

Following Chris Paul‘s 0-12 performance and the team’s loss Wednesday in New Orleans, the Clippers and CP3 bounced back Thursday with a huge fourth quarter, including nine points from Paul, to defeat Dallas, and are ready for tonight’ battle with Houston. The Clippers currently have a one-game lead over the Rockers for the third spot in the Western Conference standings, and a win tonight will give them a bit of breathing room as they then go in to the final eight regular season games worrying more about catching Oklahoma City than being caught by Houston.

Danny Granger suffered a hamstring injury Thursday and will miss a week or so at least, but the Rockets will play tonight without both the ego-man, as D-eee Wight, who is still

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suffering from ankle pain and will sit out again, and point guard Randy Beverly, who may now be out for the duration, having suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee. As his team fights down the stretch for a meaningful playoff position, D-eee Wight has frequently been among the missing, with tonight’s absence being his fourth missed game of the team’s last seven. After losing three in a row to actual good team, the Rockets go into tonight’s game with a five-game winning streak, but the overall record of the five teams they defeated is 127-226 (.388).

With or without the ego-man, the Clippers should easily beat the Rockets for the fourth straight time this season. The Clippers number one NBA offense (107.4 ppg) will have a field day against Houston and their 17th-rated defense, and will easily put to an end the team’s 12-game home winning streak.

Granger’s injury should open up more playing time for Jared Dudley, who had been relegated to the very back of the Clippers’ dawg house, but who, with a bit more playing time recently, has redeemed himself a bit. After being conspicuously absent in eight straight games, he’s played in two of the last three, hitting three-of-five shots and putting in eight points in 15 minutes on the court. Seldom

do you see a team depth chart on any of the web sports info providers – ESPN, Yahoo!, CBS, etc. – that actually lists a position as four-deep, but ESPN does have Dudley as number four at Clippers’ small forward. They didn’t even bother to remove the inactive Granger.

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