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Parsons would not talk about it but played with a cold, chill, body aches. Almost did not come out for the second half.
Clips win 101-93. Rox hung around but never could find collective rhythm. Harden & CP combined 9-29. Homeward bound. Finally.
FINAL: Clippers 101, Rockets 93. 20 turnovers costly, but Rockets competed, fall to 0-3 vs Clips this year. Rox go 3-2 on West coast swing.
No TJones in the 4th again. If teams that win 10 of their last 11 ponder starting lineup changes, McHale may be doing that right now.
Jordan Hamilton: 4-7 from three-point range, 16 points. I'd say he's in the rotation.
Rockets gave up 27 points off tos in each of first two meetings with the Clippers, 25 tonight, plus 19 2nd chance points. Tough to overcome.
HOU down 6, 2:27 left. Missed bunnies, TOs, poor transition D and way too many second chance points. Kind of amazing it's this close.
Heck of pass from Asik to Parsons for sorely needed 3. Rockets' don't have usual spacing w/ supersized lineup out there. Need those passes.
Asik and Howard playing together here with 5:10 left.
Kind of tough to get better shots than layups.
So many missed bunnies ...
Rockets missed eight consecutive shots, Harden gets ready to check back in, and ESPN considers showing football players running 40s.
Donatas Motiejunas isn't afraid of wolves, but nobody said anything about hippos.
D-Mo stepped in to draw a charge on Big Baby as if he was trying to stop a truck.
Well, if you ever questions D-Mo's toughness, I'm pretty sure the way he stood his ground against Big Baby will make you reconsider.
Rockets have to get scome scoring from Parsons or Lin here. Both have struggled. Parsons 2 of 11 as checks in for Harden.
Then again, there's always transition when Clips get stops. Back-to-back 3s for Collison and Dudley give LAC some separation, up 6.
With Crawford out, it's basically up to Griffin and CP3 to create all of Clips' offense. Workable w/ both on floor, but when 1 sits ...yikes
Clips take 74-73 lead to 4Q. HOU's bench big in 2Q; might need something similar to start 4Q to help hold off Blake & crunch time master CP3
LAC 74, Hou 73 after 3. Rockets had to switch Dwight to Blake to slow him, but offense stalls late. Better get a run when Blake, CP3 sit.
We've got a game. Clips 74, Rockets 73 heading to the fourth. Dwight 18p-11r, Harden 18p, Jordan Hamilton 10p-2 steals off the bench.
Big Baby making his Clippers debut. Crowd begins cheering for him before he is even introduced.
Jordan Hamilton has made quite the first impression over the course of the last 24 hours.
Blake using Terrence Jones the way Harden destroyed Ben McLemore last night. Dwight switches to Blake.
Darren Collison starts the second half in backcourt with Chris Paul.
Jamal Crawford out for the rest of the night with a left calf strain.
Clippers guard Jamal Crawford is out with a left calf strain. Happened late in the first half.
The Rockets starting unit played together for just 6 minutes and 29 seconds of the first half and was outscored 21-4.
Or this one? Rockets lead Clippers 1-0 in alley oop dunks.
HALF: Rockets 48, Clippers 46. 13 from Harden to lead Rockets and 8p-10r for Dwight, but Jordan Hamilton, D-Mo, Asik play key roles.
Both teams racked up pts in transition & early offense. But in the halfcourt? Yuck. Lots of bricks and head-scratching decisions.
Or to take it one step further, that Rockets give up 15 points off turnovers, 15 seconds chance points and just 16 in the rest of half.
Biggest surprise of night? Jazz whip Suns? Cavs win at OKC. Or Rockets go from that horrible 17-4 start to lead Clips at halftime?
Jordan Hamilton in 13 minutes so far tonight: +22.
I'm sure it's happened, but can't remember the last time Jamal Crawford looked remotely human vs Rox. He's 2-10 tonight 1-6 from 3.
McHale goes back to the two-centers lineup, Asik on Griffin and then switching on screen. Haven't seen that much for a long time.
Mentioned in preview how Clips' current starting 5 has been killing it, posting audacious numbers. They're only going up here in 1st half.
Rockets with another meltdown since CP3, Blake returned. Turnover-a-thon in progress. Clips on 12-0 run. Parsons, Jones really struggling.
Since Omer Asik checked into the game, the Rockets have outscored the Clippers 20-10, holding LA to 4-15 shooting during that span.
Dwight checking back in, but big-time work from Asik on both ends. Huge key to the turnaround.
Also, J-Lin starting to get going vs Collison, player he had a lot of success against last yr. Lin been in funk of late, due for breakout.
Rockets have scored on 7 of 9 possessions in 2nd quarter with CP3, Blake at table for last two. Doc calls TO to get them back in, down 6.
Awfully impressive response from HOU, turning 13-pt 1Q deficit into 6-pt edge here in 2Q. Harden heating up and Asik awesome inside on D.
Can't praise Omer Asik's defense enough. Rockets have taken the lead, 29-28 after a Jeremy Lin triple.
Lin hits a 3 and Rockets have their largest lead, 29-28. Would be good game for Lin to get on a roll when going against Collison.
Been waiting for Asik to have game where he really saves Rox bacon. Tonight might be it. His interior D terrific since coming in for D12.
Funny that Blake overshadows Blake. If not for highlight dunks and Ace and Gary car commercials more would notice how much he's improved.
Blake Griffin w/ early edge among players here competing for WC Player of Month. He, Harden, D12 all part of that convo. BG great early.
Clips 26, Rox 22 after 1, first time Rockets have trailed after first quarter since January. Lucky to be within 4 shooting 38.1 %.
Rox have to feel pretty decent about emerging from 1Q down just 4. Committed cardinal vs Clips (TOs) and survived 2 early fouls on D12.
Impressive rebound by the Rockets after a brutal start (down 17-4 out of the gate). 26-22 Clips after one. Harden has 6 to lead Rockets.
McHale quickly turned to Motiejunas, Hamilton because starters off to lousy start and I wrote about them today. Some signs of life follow.
Starting lineup torched out of the gate tonight. 2-11 shooting before McHale turned to D-Mo. 6-0 Houston run. Rockets down 17-10, 5:30 1Q.
Early PT for D-Mo and Hamilton giving HOU a bit of a boost. Transition D still needs to get up to speed, but Rox back within 7.
Rox sleepwalking while Clips just plain walking all over them. Way too much deja vu right now. LAC up 14-2, HOU needs serious energy jolt.
Rockets fail to get back for a second time. McHale grabs a time out for second time in four minutes. Clips up 14-2, also known as rerus.
Rockets 1-7 vs. Clippers in past 3 seasons, their worst record against any WC team in that span.Have not beaten Clips here since Dec. 2010.
Kevin McHale wastes no time, takes full timeout less than 2 mins in with Clips up 6-0. Last time here, LAC put up 42 in 1Q, 78 in 1st half.
More of the same early for Rockets vs. Clips. LAC up 6-0, Rockets offense stagnant, McHale time out.
Sounded the same when Dwight was introduced, though.
Kind of say this a lot, but it still amazes me how different Staples looks, feels for Clippers and Lakers.
Doc Rivers said Rox vastly improved since early matchups. Said Dwight playing 'freer," called Beverley "unbelievable.He's been sensational."
Wasn't much doubt, but Dwight Howard's knee apparently fine after last night's bump. Went through usual game - day routine, including jokes.
GameDay..!!!! Let's get it..!! 3⃣
Mentioned within that story: In 258 minutes of shared court time in Feb, Harden & Howard have produced O-Rating of 117.2, net rating of 13.9
Michael Malone on Rox: “That’s best team in the NBA right now, since Jan 1. We allowed them to come in here and establish their dominance.”
Dwight on sore knee: "It still hurts. I'll just try to do whatever I can to prevent my knee from getting too stiff to where I can't play."
His Shaq and McHale pretty dead-on, too.
Dwight doing a Barkley imitation in locker room . Spooky good.
Rockets roll 129-103, setting up mega showdown with LAC tmrw. Rox now 39-18. Just as point of reference, 93-94 Rox started 41-16. Not bad.
FINAL: Rockets 129, Kings 103. Harden goes for 43 & 8 in just 31 min as they blow 'em out in Sacramento. Dwight 20p-11r.
Well, I'm not surprised any more. Greg Smith return to Houston to have his knee re-examined. Again.
Motiejunas fouls out with 7:35 left. Rockets sub in Canaan. Little surprised no time for Greg Smith yet.
Impressive debut for Jordan Hamilton: 4-6 from the field, 2-3 on threes, for 12 points, 4 boards, 2 assists, a steal and a block.
Very nice debut for Jordan Hamilton, who has 12 pts, 4 r, in 17 mins. Even more impressive when I confuse him with other JH in my notebook.
Starters all out to start fourth quarter with Rockets up 27. Casspi gets introduced for first time tonight where he remains popular.
Harden up to 43 (career-high is 46) as Rockets head to 4Q up 104-77. With game tomorrow night vs Clips, have to think he & D12 done for nite
Rockets 104, Kings 77 after 3. Harden with 43, three shy of career high. Guessing Canaan has a better chance of career high than he does.
McCallum hit a runner from 44 feet. Came too late but looked cool.
Complete rout: Rockets lead 104-77 after three. Harden has 43, but doubt we see him again in this one.
43 for Harden, three shy of his career high.
Forget that last tweet. Scoreboard in SAC slow to respond (kind of like Kings' transition D). Harden just hit 40. New season-high, obvi.
The Rockets' previous season high was the 39 Harden scored on Thursday against Golden State. He has played just 26 minutes tonight.
Harden hits a 3, has a season-high and Rockets season high 40. Rockets up 97-64 with 4:52 left in third, likely will be sitting soon.