The Los Angeles Clippers will try to become the NBA's second 30-win team on Tuesday night when they visit Houston to take on the Rockets.
The Clippers are in the second of a three-game road trip and are winners of four of their last five. A victory on Tuesday night would allow the Clips to match the Oklahoma City Thunder as the only other NBA squad with 30 wins.
The Clippers put a sad home loss to the Orlando Magic behind them on Monday night with a 99-73 drubbing of the Memphis Grizzlies in the first game on the road trip.
Once again playing without star point guard Chris Paul, who sat out with a bruised right kneecap, L.A. decided to do it with defense. The Clippers held the Grizzlies to a season-low 73 points and 30.3 percent field-goal shooting, which is the third-worst output in franchise history.
"I thought our defense did a great job of putting pressure on them and making them miss some shots," said Clippers forward Blake Griffin. "I think we contested a lot of shots. We were on our rotations a lot. We just put a hand in their face and made it a little bit tougher."
Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes anchored the always strong Clippers bench with 16 points apiece. Grant Hill, in only his second game of the season, tallied eight points, four rebounds and four assists in a little over 17 minutes of action.
The Rockets return home after five of their last six on the road. They played their last three outside of Houston and dropped all three with the most recent a 107-100 setback in Philadelphia to the 76ers.
Against the Sixers, James Harden poured in 29 points, while Chandler Parsons added 23. Omer Asik registered a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but defense was the problem.
The Sixers, the 27th-ranked offense in the NBA, scored 24 fast-break points. But the Rockets made it a ballgame late until the Sixers pulled away for the seven-point win.
"Every team goes through some adversity and we're going through a bit right now," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale after the loss on Saturday. "We had a three-game road trip, didn't win any of them, had chances, got Boston down to a couple points last night, got this game down to three points with five minutes to go, but didn't win them. You've got to find a way to win them."
The Clippers, who listed Paul as a game-time decision for Tuesday's game, have beaten the Rockets three straight and four of the last five meetings.