Los Angeles Clippers (63-30) at Houston Rockets (61-30)
|Date & Time||Tuesday May 12, 2015, 9:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Rockets +2.5 -- Over/Under: 218
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The Los Angeles Clippers go for the knockout blow against the Houston Rockets in Game 5 tonight.
After crushing the Rockets by 25 points in Game 3, the Clippers ramped up their intensity and again demolished the Rockets in Game 4, this time by 128-95. Chris Paul played just 26 minutes but still had 15 points and 12 assists, Blake Griffin added 21 points while JJ Redick added 18, but it felt like this game was all about DeAndre Jordan who led the scoring with 26 points thanks to a ridiculous 34 trips to the free-throw thanks to the hack-a-Jordan strategy. Fortunately, coach Rivers eventually took Jordan out of the game and it allowed the rest of the Clippers to play some basketball and they absolutely dominated the second half by 68-41 which includes a 43-25 third quarter.
As for the Rockets, James Harden scored 21 points and six assists, Trevor Ariza added 18 points while Jason Terry had 16, but while the Rockets hung around in the first half, they just couldn't find a way to slow down the Clippers in the second half and they got absolutely ran off the floor. The Clippers made sure to force someone other than Harden to beat them and it is definitely working a treat because the Rockets just don't have any other playmakers. Probably worst of all, the Rockets really look defeated and will most likely get beaten by double digits again unless they kick off Game 5 with guns blazing.
In ATS trends, the Clippers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall and 16-4-1 ATS in their last 21 road games, while the Rockets are 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games and 0-5 ATS in their last five Conference Semifinals games.
Head to head, the Clippers have covered in every game this series and they are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Houston.
I can't make much of an argument for the Rockets in this game because they've been utterly outplayed in the last two games. Sure, the season is on the line for the Rockets so they'll show plenty of fight, but the Clippers are the easy pick for me in this one.