The Houston Rockets set a record for the most three-pointers ever made against the Los Angeles Clippers as they cruised to a 122-103 victory at Staples Center on Wednesday night.
Ryan Anderson drained six threes as the Rockets made a total of 20 three-pointers in the game on 52 shot attempts from beyond the arc.
"You don't realize how many three-pointers we are taking because it's so natural for the way we play," said Anderson. "It's fun basketball when you trust that the next guy is going to make the shot, and James [Harden[ did a great job of making the right plays and getting us open."
The two teams combined to shoot 86 three-pointers, but it was defending the long ball that was the Clippers' Achilles heel throughout the game.
"I think offensively they space the floor so well, they move the ball really well. You know what they want to do, but it's tough to stop a team like that in transition." said Clippers' forward Blake Griffin. "We just have to be better at finding a man, that was our biggest downfall."
Clippers' head coach Doc Rivers was excited to see what his team looked like fully healthy after the Rockets routed L.A. 140-116 in Houston on Dec. 30th.
Both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul missed that game due to injury, but both were on the court together on Wednesday against the Rockets for the first time since Dec. 19, 2015.
"I had no clue that was the case," Paul said of how long it's been since both he and Griffin played the Rockets. "No disrespect, but that means nothing. We're just trying to win games. We're one of the few teams that has to worry about us, not everybody else."
The game was close early, 37-34, with points a plenty. The two teams combined for 19 three-pointers and 71 points in the first quarter alone, a formula that would bode well for the high-octane Houston offense.
"The first quater, the first ten minutes, I thought we played with the right sense of urgency," said Griffin. "And then, from then on, that was the change of the game, we didn't have the right sense of urgency."
The Rockets took off in the second quarter, opening up a 16-point lead, the 48th time in 62 games that the Rockets have led by double digits.
James Harden scored 26 points, Anderson added 23 and Patrick Beverly posted his third double-double of the season with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
"We need that sort of balance on the offensive end to get where we need to go," said Harden. "Having multiple guys in double-figures is really important for us."
Griffin led the Clippers with 17 points and Chris Paul chipped in 16 points and 11 assists.
The game felt eerily similar to the 2017 NBA All Star game which took place in New Orleans a couple weeks ago. Defense was missing in action, and layups, dunks, as well as wide-open three-pointers were in abundance.
Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen and Jason Verrett of the Los Angeles Chargers sat courtside during the game.
The Clippers will head to the Midwest for a two-game road trip in Milwaukee and Chicago.