The LA Clippers took on the Houston Rockets with both team missing one of the best players. Dwight Howard has been out with a knee injury that will have him off the court for at least another 5-6 weeks while Blake Griffin just had surgery on his elbow that will keep him out at least 3 weeks. He will miss the all star game but hopes to be back without missing too many games.
In this game, JJ Redick came up big with 20 points and some good defense on Harden while Chris Paul (12 points and 12 assists) and DeAndre Jordan (24 points with 12-26 on free throws 20 and rebounds for his second 20-20 game in a row. He tied Marcus Camby for the 2nd highest rebound total with 27 vs. Dallas in the game before) had double doubles of their own to pick up the victory over the tired Rockets 110-95 who played the night before in Phoenix. James Harden did not look like his usual self probably due to many minutes the night before as he only scored 9 points.
Rockets Coach Kevin McHale went to the hack-a-Jordan quite a bit especially in the 4th quarter trying to save the clock but Houston couldn’t make their shots so it was all for not.
The Clippers will need big contributions from their bench and others to pick up the slack while Griffin is out and they got it during this big victory as Spencer Hawes, Glen Big Baby Davis, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers played big minutes. They had 6 players in double figures and Davis had 8 so it was a well-balanced attack. Coach Doc Rivers was very pleased with his team’s play as they head into the all star break.
Houston kept it close for a while with Trevor Ariza and Josh Smith helping carry the load with Harden having a quieter night. Corey Brewer led their team with 22 points but they seemed to get tired on the back to back games and were outscored 30-16 in the final quarter. This was a big game as they are both vying for playoff positions in the tough Western Conference. The Clippers have some tough games after the All Star Break as 5 of their next 6 games are against San Antonio, Chicago, Houston and 2 with Memphis.
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