If the Clippers win, they will advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in their 45-year franchise history. If they lose, they will play a winner-takes-all Game 7 on Sunday in Houston.
The Clippers entered Game 5 on Tuesday with a 3-1 series advantage and a chance to clinch, but they lost, 124-103.
In Tuesday's game, the Rockets outscored the Clippers in points in the paint, 64-46, and in fast-break points, 17-3. The Rockets outshot the Clippers from the field, 54.1% to 41.8%, and outrebounded them, 58-39.
"You look at the last series and this series, and they both came down to 50-50 games," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought we got crushed in that area. I thought they got every loose ball, they made every tough play, and they got every tough rebound, and that's something we have to correct."
The Clippers had Wednesday off, and Rivers said his team will look different come Thursday.
"Our guys are ready," Rivers said. "They've performed and they'll be ready."
The Clippers have won each of their two home games against the Rockets in this series by a significant margin. They won Games 3 and 4 by 25 points and 33 points, respectively. The Clippers are just the ninth team in NBA history to win two straight playoff games by 25 points or more.
Entering Game 6, the Clippers are dealing with some injuries. Chris Paul, who missed Games 1 and 2 of the series because of a strained left hamstring, won't have any minute restrictions in Game 6, according to Rivers. But Matt Barnes has a banged up shoulder and ankle, Glen Davis has a sore ankle, and Austin Rivers has a hip pointer. All of those players are expected to play in Game 6.
Rivers said that most of the team watched a replay of their 21-point loss in Game 5 on the airplane home late Tuesday evening -- now he hopes that game is nothing more than a distant memory.
Said Rivers: "You play a bad game, you go to the next game. ... I think that's a quality that all good teams must have."