The LA Clippers have had a up and down season with injuries, key losses and trades. They came into the game vs the Houston Rockets who are battling Golden State for the Top team in the Western Conference. The last time the Rockets came to LA, it was an intense playoff type game with some bad blood between Blake Griffin and Chris Paul’s return when the Clippers pulled it out. Even though Griffin has been traded since, the Rockets were in no mood to let that happen again as they built a big early lead and the game never really got to under 10 points.
The Clippers offense sputtered with only Tobias Harris 24 pts and Montrez Harrell 22 pts (who has been a force lately) scoring over 20 points. The rest of the lineup had a cold night. CJ Williams made his return but his status along with Ty Wallace (both are on 2 way contracts) are up at the end of the week so everyone will wait to see if they are signed or go back to the G league and become restricted free agents. Coach Doc Rivers tried many options but nothing worked tonight.
James Harden put on a show early scoring in bunches and ended with 25 points. Even though Paul had a quieter game, Houston’s depth with Eric Gordon notching 22 points and Clint Capela adding 22 and 14 rebounds. Capela has to be the most under-rated player in the NBA as he delivers and hustles every night. Coach D’Antoni loves his team’s chemistry as they have won 14 games in a row now heading into a showdown on Saturday night vs the Celtics. The team is fully healthy now except for sharp shooter Ryan Anderson but they have the deepest team in the league with players such as Gerald Green not even getting playing time now after he was picked up on waivers about 2 months ago and helped them many past games with his scoring punch especially when Harden was out.
The Clippers now have a stretch of 5 upcoming home games vs. NY, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Cleveland and Orlando as they come down the home stretch for the playoffs. More at www.nba.com/clippers