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NBA Rockets at Clippers

March 28, 2007

NBA basketball - Houston Rockets (-2, 187) at L.A. Clippers 10:00 PM ET

Elton Brand of the ClippersThe Clippers currently hold the last spot in the Western Conference and are destined to play Dallas at this point when the playoffs begin.

The first priority for coach Mike Dunleavy is to make sure his team holds onto the eight position, still he and his team have to cast an eye to the future with Denver being just two games ahead of them. If they could pass them, a more favorable match-up with Phoenix could be in their future.

Houston also has much to play for in this Western showdown with different set of circumstances. The Rockets are currently in the fifth position and because of recent play that has produced 9-2 record, they have moved them within two games of Utah. Even though Utah will be first round opponent, the Rockets with gathering momentum could steal away home court advantage by passing the Jazz.

Los Angeles will be seeking their fifth straight win, as forward Elton Brand is playing like the all-star he was a season ago. Brand is off an 18 points and 14 boards performance in 111-105 victory over Washington.

They're averaging 105.5 points on 50 percent shooting during their winning streak after averaging 89.9 points in their previous seven games. The Clippers are now 7-1 against the spread in last eight games. "We're playing with a lot of poise and a lot of resolve and we are very confident right now," Brand said. "We're definitely jelling as a team, getting better each game. We can feel it out there and we're excited to play."

Houston is 2-point favorite at sportsbook.com with a total of 190.5 having won two of three thus far against the Clippers. In fact the Rockets are 3-1 SU and ATS at Staples Center.

As Los Angeles tries to make the post-season in consecutive years for the first time since 1991-92 and '92-93, they must overcome the fact they are 9-21 ATS as an underdog this season.

The Clippers have a sorry history trying cover a number of spreads with 14-31 ATS record after successfully covering the spread in 4 or more consecutive games dating back to 1996. At least in their favor the Rockets are rotten 8-24 ATS after covering 4 or 5 of their last six against the spread over the last two seasons.

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