The Clippers will host the Rockets on Wednesday night for the second and final time this season. In a vacuum, this game would be important for the Western Conference Playoff standings and little else. Houston needs a win to stay ahead of the Warriors for the top seed, while L.A. needs every win it can get in the hotly-contested, eight-team race for the final six seeds out West.
However, the far more interesting backstory for Wednesday night’s matchup is that it’s the first meeting between the two teams since the infamous “secret tunnel” incident led to suspensions for Gerald Green and Trevor Ariza, along with a million jokes on the internet.
The gist of the situation, for those who somehow missed it, is that the Rockets were not pleased with some of the chippy play during the game and the chirping by Blake Griffin and, later, Austin Rivers. The latter was allegedly trash-talking the Rockets in the locker room loud enough that Houston’s players who were in the secret hallway that connects the two locker rooms could hear. This led to Rockets players storming the Clippers locker room to confront Rivers and Griffin, with Chris Paul and James Harden trying to serve as peacekeepers.