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Clippings: LA Clippers bigs defy Houston Rockets smallball

The national spotlight is shining on the Clippers these days.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have been one of the innovators of the NBA in recent years, pushing new ways of play that defy conventional wisdom, but that innovation ran into the Los Angeles Clippers’ buzzsaw on Thursday, as the Clips came to Houston and demolished the smallest basketball of all 120-105 in another national spotlight game.

It’s still only March, but one piece of good old sports conventional wisdom, peaking as a team heads into the playoffs, seems to be happening right now for the Clippers. They’re undefeated with a full-strength lineup this season and sit at No. 2 in the West behind the Lakers, with at least a theoretical chance of catching them if the Lakers hit any kind of late-season skid. For all the ink that was spilled over the legit concerns of when (and if) the Clippers would find their footing earlier this season, they seem to be doing just what they set out to do. And if the players can stay healthy, things could get really interesting for the Clippers in the playoffs, on the back of the last couple wins in particular.

Onto the news for Friday:

Zach Lowe’s latest column on ESPN leads with the Clippers, who he’s talking up as a nightmare matchup for any opponent at this stage.

YouTube TV has dropped Fox Sports West and Fox Sports Prime Ticket due to a carriage dispute, so while a lot of Clippers games are tabbed to be on national TV, the next local broadcast is coming next Friday against the Brooklyn Nets. Assuming there won’t be a change of heart and a new deal (it does not seem likely) you’ll need to look for other options if you want to watch the Clippers if you’re a YTTV subscriber.

Bulls guard Kris Dunn is on the shelf with an MCL strain, but rumors out of Chicago per NBC Sports Chicago are that the Clippers could pursue him as a free agent signing in the offseason, after a resurgent season before his injury.

No standouts among the Clippers in The Ringer’s “third quarter” report on the season, but some honorable mention notes for Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and Kawhi Leonard.

Coronavirus is impacting Clippers 2020-21 preseason preparations already, as a report out of Hawaii claims they will not return to the Aloha State for their next preseason amid fears the virus could still be a global threat in the fall.