HOUSTON – DeAndre Jordan had 23 points and 16 rebounds in his hometown as the Los Angeles Clippers held off a fourth quarter rally to beat the Houston Rockets 122-106 on Tuesday night at the Toyota Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Clippers showed no signs of fatigue from their disappointing loss to the Spurs a night earlier and came out like gangbusters against the rival Rockets. Los Angeles scored a season-high 72 points in the first half and led by 22 at the break.
Lob City was in full effect in the team's return to Houston as Chris Paul and Space City native, DeAndre Jordan, put on an alley-oop exhibit inside Toyota Center.
Jordan finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks. Chris Paul had 15 points and 16 assists. J.J. Redick scored a team-high 25 points as seven different players scored in double-figures for the Clippers.
James Harden led the Rockets on a rally in the fourth quarter as Houston trimmed the lead to just 11 points with 5:12 remaining. But unlike Game 6 of the 2nd round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Clippers did not let the Rockets come back and closed the door on Houston as they led wire-to-wire.
Harden had a game-high 33 points for the Rockets. Trevor Ariza had 16 and Michael Beasley scored 16 off the bench.
After the Rockets cut the Clippers 23-point lead into an 11-point lead with less than four minutes remaining, J.J. Redick came off a DeAndre Jordan screen and buried a triple from the top of the key, snapping the Rockets momentum and pushing the lead back to 14.
MVP OF THE GAME
DeAndre Jordan. The Houston native had 23 points and 16 rebounds.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Clippers scored 72 points in the first half, their highest scoring output of any half this season.
72 Points by the Clippers are the most they've scored in ANY half this season.
They lead the Rockets 72-50 pic.twitter.com/3HnLYzVeDs
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 17, 2016
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
72-50 Clippers at the half pic.twitter.com/BYYNH9aO5g
— Complex Sports (@Complex_Sports) March 17, 2016
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
— Clippers Report (@clippers_fanly) March 17, 2016
So what else is new?
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"Big win for us. It was a good effort all around. We didn't have our best effort last night, so this is a good feeling." – Clippers point guard Austin Rivers.
Paul Pierce started for the first time after missing the team's last three games with a sore right big toe… Black Griffin remained out for the Clippers and has not been cleared to start practicing yet…Los Angeles signed big-man Jeff Ayres for the remainder of the season.
Los Angeles Clippers (43-24, 21-12 on the road) 2nd in Pacific Division
Houston Rockets (34-34, 18-15 at home) 3rd in the Southwest Division
The Los Angeles Clippers continue their five-game road trip when they travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies on Saturday in what is expected to be a preview of the Western Conference 1st round matchup between the two teams.
The Houston Rockets will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, March 18, at 5:00 PM PST.