HOUSTON – The Los Angeles Clippers trip to Houston ended the same way their season did: with a blow out loss to the Rockets. Dwight Howard had 22 points and Houston vanquished Los Angeles 107-97 on Saturday night at the Toyota Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Clippers looked anemic to start the game after arriving in Houston after midnight from last night's loss in San Antonio against the Spurs. Los Angeles only managed to score 17 points in the first quarter, allowing a whopping 38 to the Rockets.
The Clippers trailed by as many as 26 points in the second quarter before going on a run to end the half trailing Houston by just 11 points.
Disgruntled Rockets center Dwight Howard had one of his best games of the season scoring 22 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 11 rebounds in his matchup with Howard and J.J. Redick chipped in 19.
It was a disappointing two-game road trip in Texas for the Clippers as they failed to stack up with their first and second round opponents from the 2014-2015 NBA Playoffs last season.
The Clippers cut the lead to just six points in the third quarter before Blake Griffin was assessed a technical foul and went to the bench. In his absence, the Rockets attacked the basket at will and opened up an 18-point lead.
MVP OF THE GAME
Dwight Howard. With rumors of Howard being unhappy in Houston and a potential trade to the Miami Heat a hot topic around the NBA, D-12 responded with 22 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Chris Paul recorded his 345th career double-double, the most among all active players in the NBA (in points and assists).
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
*Hits sarcasm button* In the most thrilling game of the year, Clippers down 57-46 at the half — Rowan Kavner (@RowanKavner) December 20, 2015
We feel you, Rowan.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
The Beard is all smiles on Saturday night.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"I sensed we didn't have it really early. This was one through 12 tonight. We were flat and lacked energy. We've been on the road a while and we didn't handle it well tonight." – Clippers head coach Doc Rivers on the loss.
Chris Paul had a season-high seven steals in the game. Pablo Prigioni and Josh Smith went up against their former teammates as both players were with the Rockets last season.
Los Angeles Clippers (16-12, 6-7 on the road) 2nd in the Pacific Division
Houston Rockets (14-14, 8-7 at home) fourth in the Southwest Division
The Clippers return home for a highly anticpated matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night at Staples Center
The Rockets stay in Houston where they will host the suddenly hot-shooting Charlotte Hornets at 5:00PM on Monday night.