The Los Angeles Clippers have ran into a few minor road bumps to start off the season yet have still managed to have one of the best records in the league, 21-8. This past summer they immediately became conference title favorites when they signed reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Paul George via trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Unfortunately, Clippers’ fans had to wait to see their dynamic duo in action as George was out for the first 11 games of the season recovering from surgery in both of his shoulders. Upon PG’s return, Leonard was dealing with knee pain and was sidelined for load management. The two didn’t make their season debut until their game against the Boston Celtics on Nov. 20.
PG and Leonard aren’t the only players to have missed games this season due to injury. Almost their entire squad has suffered from some sort of injury that has caused them to sit out during games. Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Landry Shamet, Rodney McGruder and JaMychal Green have all been benched at some point this season. The only players to have stayed healthy are Montrezl Harrell, Maurice Harkless and Ivica Zubac.
Ahead of today’s game against the Houston Rockets the Clippers’ released their injury report which only lists JaMychal Green as questionable, per Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. If in fact Green takes the court tonight, this will be the first game for the Clippers this season that they will be playing with a full healthy roster.
L.A. Clippers vs. Houston Rockets
The last time that the Clippers played against the Rockets they barely came up on top, 122-119. The game started out as the Clippers’ show as the team earned a lead right from the jump, ending the first quarter ahead by eight points, 31-23. Zubac and Harrell were beasts from the start as they both accumulated six points each by the end of the first quarter. The Clippers accelerated the pace even more and were able to gain a game-high lead of 13-points, 43-30.
Houston was not ready to give up and stepped up the pace. By the end of the second quarter, the Rockets trailed the Clippers by only four points, 55-51. The Rockets continued their trend and during the third quarter scored eight straight points to steal their first lead of the game, 62-57. James Harden scored seven of those points in less than 30 seconds. Williams came out hot and answered back with 10 consecutive points late in the third to tie the game up, 76-76.
The fourth quarter was a tough battle throughout as both teams fought to keep their lead. Both Beverley and Russell Westbrook fought too aggressively and fouled out of the game. Williams again came in clutch and hit a three to steal the lead back for the Clippers, but Harden quickly took it back by scoring two free throws. Leonard hit a pull up jumper that ultimately stole the last lead of the game.
Tonight’s game should be another exciting match up as both teams are in the top five for the Western Conference. The Clippers place second, while the Rockets place fifth. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. PST.