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Preview/Game Thread: Clippers Face Off Against Rockets in Summer League

It’s the third and final preliminary game for LAC.

2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

After their first two games resulted in a 1-1 win-loss record and some good showing from the Clippers’ prospects, L.A. now plays their final preliminary summer league game in the nightcap on the last day of this round.

They’ll be going up against the Summer League version of the Houston Rockets, headlined by Rockets second-round pick and USC standout De’Anthony Melton, who had 17 points in their second win. Beyond their prospect, the Rockets have a blend of free agents with fringe NBA experience: Markel Brown has over 100 NBA games played, Daniel House Jr. has 24 NBA games played, R.J. Hunter is a former first-round pick who played 44 games across three seasons, and Quincy Miller has 69 games of NBA experience (though none since 2015). They also feature a handful of other Rockets prospects: Chinanu Onuaku, who has been on the roster for two years after being a second-round pick in 2016, Zhou Qi, who was a depth piece for the Rockets last seasons after being drafted and stashed in 2016, and Vince Edwards, who the Rockets traded for in last month’s draft.

The Clippers figure to be back at full strength tonight after resting 13th overall pick Jerome Robinson last night against the Sacramento Kings. Look for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to continue to become more comfortable with the pace and physicality of the play here in Las Vegas as well. The Clippers have repeatedly stated that they won’t be resting any of their prospects tonight, but that can all change at a moment’s notice. If Sindarius Thornwell, who has been the star of this Clippers’ Summer League, does play tonight, I’d expect the team to scale back his minutes, something they may do for SGA as well on the second night of a back-to-back. Look for the team to stagger Sindarius and Jerome more in an effort to get more possessions for Robinson. I’d also expect some increased run for Jawun Evans and David Michineau, who each found their games in the second half last night.

UPDATE: The Clippers have announced that Jawun Evans will miss tonight’s game with a sore left knee.