Houston Rockets Game Day:

By Tamberlyn Richardson
4 of 5

Jan 17, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) and guard Chris Paul (3) and guard Jamal Crawford (11) question referee Mark Ayotte (56) after a foul against Jordan during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings 117-108. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Key Match-Ups

It’s basically a matter of the Rockets front court stopping DeAndre Jordan who has more than picked up the slack in Blake Griffin’s absence.  Joey Dorsey and Donatas Motiejunas didn’t do a good job of this in their last meeting, so they’ll be looking to improve upon their effort this time out.

Though the Clippers employ a team defense on Harden the Clipper designated with the most time on him is J.J. Redick.

Look for Ariza to assist in providing additional screens to free up Harden versus Redick, Chris Paul and Matt Barnes. If Beverley remains out we may see some run from newly acquired trade deadline pieces K.J. McDaniels and point guard Pablo Prigioni.

Surely the law of averages should lead to Harden finally breaking out of his poor offensive showings against the Clippers.

Look for Jason Terry, Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer to offset the offensive load by contributing via player movement, ball movement and cuts to the paint. As a team the Rockets will also look to limit the Clippers perimeter shooting specifically Crawford and Paul.

The x factors might well be the tandem of Josh Smith and Terrence Jones who is looking more comfortable and closer to contributing at the level he was prior to his injury.

Clipper Leaders:

  • Blake Griffin 22.5 points per game
  • DeAndre Jordan 13.9 rebounds per game
  • Chris Paul 9.8 assists per game
  •  DeAndre Jordan 2.3 blocks per game
  • Chris Paul 1.9 steals per game

Rocket Leaders:

  • James Harden 27.3 points per game
  • Dwight Howard 11 rebounds per game
  • James Harden 6.8 assists per game
  • Terrence Jones 1.8 blocks per game
  • James Harden 2 steals per game

Next: Insert a key to unlock a winner?