Chris Paul is questionable for the opener of the Western Conference semifinals when the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Houston Rockets on Monday.
L.A. Clippers At Houston
When: 9:30 PM ET, Monday, May 4, 2015
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
PREDICTION: Rockets 123, Clippers 119
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Oddsmakers currently have the Rockets listed as 5-point favorites versus the Clippers, while the game’s total is sitting at 212.
Paul injured his left hamstring in Saturday’s series-ending victory over the San Antonio Spurs and a decision on the point guard’s availability will be made in the hours before game time.
Paul suffered the injury late in the first quarter of Game 7 and later hit the decisive bank shot with one second left in the 111-109 victory. “Chris may play or may not play the first game but the game is Monday,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “My guess right now if I had to guess, I would say no but I’m not sure.” The Rockets dispatched the Dallas Mavericks in five games and are part of the second round for only the second time since 1997. “We have a lot of guys in this locker room that are hungry,” MVP candidate James Harden told reporters. “They want to win and want to do whatever it takes to win. When you get a group like that, you got a lot of guys who are willing to sacrifice.”
Paul scored 27 points in the finale against the Spurs and averaged 22.7 points and 7.9 assists in the series. Power forward Blake Griffin was terrific in Game 7 with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists and had a dominant series with seven straight double-doubles while averaging 24.1 points, 13.1 rebounds and 7.4 assists in the series. Center DeAndre Jordan averaged 14.5 points and 18 rebounds in four regular-season games against Houston but Rockets center Dwight Howard missed all four of those games.
Team record: 60-29 SU,41-48 ATS
LA Clippers is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
LA Clippers is 18-4 SU in its last 22 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of LA Clippers’s last 6 games
LA Clippers is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games on the road
Having Howard back healthy from knee woes and playing at a high level has Houston feeling like it can reach the Western Conference finals. Howard averaged 16.6 points and 13.8 rebounds against the Mavericks and scored 28 points in Game 2 and collected 26 rebounds in Game 3. Harden was on the mark with at least 24 points in each game and averaged 28.4 points and 7.8 assists in the opening round.
Team record: 60-27 SU,52-35 ATS
Houston is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Houston is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Houston’s last 11 games
Houston is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home