This playoff match up has already made for some great basketball to watch in Game 1. Game 2 will be nothing short of spectacular.
Game 1: 117 Clippers 101 Rockets
This featured no Chris Paul for the Clippers, but a stellar performance from Blake Griffin. He had 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 assists, for his second straight triple-double. Austin Rivers filled the void of Paul with 17 points and that helped lead the Clippers to steal Game 1.
Here are some players to watch in tonight’s game.
Chris Paul: Paul was absent for Game 1, and could have to do the same for Game 2. If he is able to play, expect him to get limited minutes. He is the team leader that they need on the floor to have ultimate success. If they want to have a true chance at a title, they need Paul in the latter games of this series.
Blake Griffin: He is just a man amongst boys right now. He has had two straight dominating performances in the playoffs. With Griffin and DeAndre Jordan playing at their best, this team is underrated and scary at the same time. Expect another 20-plus point performance and 10-plus rebounds from the big man tonight.
Austin Rivers: Rivers need to be a facilitator tonight. He has to play significant minutes to fill the void of a player who is arguably the best point guard of the playoffs. If he can create open shots for guys like Barnes and J.J. Redick there is no reason for the Clippers to have a bad offensive night.
James Harden: Harden had a lackluster performance in Game 1. He had 20 points, but was 6-of-13 from the field. The team and himself had 23 turnovers which caused them to fold down the stretch. You have to expect a great performance for a guy who was runner-up for the MVP award. He still has to feel some resentment when it comes to not winning the award.
Dwight Howard: Howard had himself a game against the Clippers in Game 1. He had 22 points and 10 rebounds. As we all know, Howard was out for a good part of the Rockets season. He received scrutiny for his poor play over the past few seasons. The Rockets need him in order for them to be successful. The duo of Harden and Howard can create a positive outcome for the Rockets.
PREDICTION: Rockets 105, Clippers 98
I think if Paul is able to play tonight, this could be a different outcome, but I don’t expect to see Paul on the floor tonight. I think Harden will have one of his better games in these playoffs.