Rapid Reaction: Clippers 101, Rockets 93
February, 26, 2014
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers knew they were going to be tested after the NBA All-Star break with three of their first five games on the road and four of those games against potential Western Conference playoff opponents.
After dropping the first two games to the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies, the Clippers have won three straight with two of those wins coming against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets.
The Clippers' 101-93 win over the Rockets on Wednesday night was all the more impressive considering they had to come back in the second half to win the game without Jamal Crawford, who was sidelined because of a strained left calf. His injury will be re-evaluated Thursday.
How it happened: The Clippers took a 17-4 lead to start the game and forced the Rockets to call two quick timeouts, but Houston quickly responded and took a six-point lead in the second quarter. It was a back-and-forth game after that with 12 lead changes and 13 ties before the Clippers finally pulled away in the fourth quarter.
What it means: It was another solid win for the Clippers, who might just be hitting their stride. If Sunday's win over the Thunder was the Clippers' biggest road win of the season, Wednesday's win over Houston without Crawford (and J.J. Redick) might just be their best at home since beating San Antonio in December.
Hits: It was another big game for Blake Griffin, who had 23 points and 16 rebounds, extending his streak of 18 straight games of scoring at least 20 points. DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and 10 rebounds while Chris Paul had 14 points and nine assists. Darren Collison, in relief of Crawford, closed out the game and finished with 19 points.
Misses: There's not much to nitpick on a night when Jared Dudley hit three 3-pointers after coming in off the bench. It would have been nice to see more of Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who played only eight minutes in his Clippers debut and had two rebounds and missed his only shot.
Stat of the game: The Clippers didn't shoot as well from long range as they have over the past two games, but they did hit eight shots, which is one off their magic number this season. The Clippers are 25-0 when they make at least nine 3-pointers.
Up next: The Clippers return to Staples Center on Saturday to play the New Orleans Pelicans, whom they played Monday in New Orleans. The Clippers won that game, 123-110, with every starter and two reserves scoring in double figures.