The Los Angeles Clippers held off the Houston Rockets to end their three-game homestand 2-1.
The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Houston Rockets 115-112 in an all-around effort from the bench led by the fourth-quarter play by Montrezl Harrell.
Despite James Harden’s late four-point play with 29.5 seconds left in the fourth, the Clippers were able to buckle down on defense on Harden’s potential game-tying three-point shot.
This team played by committee throughout the game. Harrell led the fourth quarter Clippers’ charge and finished the game with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. Harrell’s putback dunk with 3:39 left in the fourth allowed for the Clippers to take a 10 point lead.
Harrell’s play on the floor kept the team’s energy up throughout the fourth quarter. He controlled the boards and stayed aggressive in the paint.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played in crucial minutes during the fourth quarter. His tough shot over Harden gave the Clippers an eight-point lead at 108-100.
Gilgeous-Alexander was also one of many players that Coach Doc Rivers used against Harden at the defensive end. He was aggressive on the floor and was very productive on the offensive end. Gilgeous-Alexander was plus 21 on the floor in 25 minutes of play to go with 12 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
The bench’s late third quarter push along with Gallinari’s dominant 15-point third quarter kept the Clippers in the game with the Rockets. The Clippers’ bench scored 56 points in this contest.
In six minutes of play, Gallinari scored nine of his third-quarter points. His finish over the Rockets rookie, Isaiah Hartenstein, got the Clippers within two at 78-76 with 4:01 left in the third. Gallinari finished the game with 20 points on 7-19 field goals, nine rebounds, four assists, and one block.
Tobias Harris continued his scoring dominance in this game. He led the Clippers in scoring with 23 points on 9-15 field goals, four rebounds, and one assist. Harris’ three-pointer extended the Clippers lead in the fourth quarter to seven, 106-113.
Luc Mbah a Moute and Patrick Beverley were some of the defensive anchors for the Clippers, along with Gilgeous-Alexander, to hold off the Rockets during various spurts in the game. Lou Williams also made a huge block on Harden’s running lay-up with 1:48 left in the fourth quarter.
By committee, the Clippers contained Harden as he finished the game with 31 points on 11-26 field goals and 4-12 on three-point shots. Harden also had 14 assists and two steals.
Los Angeles also outrebounded Houston 49-35 as Harrell led the Clippers in rebounds with his 10. By committee, the Clippers were also able to take advantage of the boards to spearhead their offense in transition.
Williams finished the game with 12 points, five rebounds, and two assists. In 16 minutes of play, Mbah a Moute scored eight points on 50 percent of his field goals and had two rebounds.
For Houston, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon were also productive. Capela scored 23 points on 11-14 field goals with six rebounds, five assists, and three blocks. Gordon started the game in Chris Paul’s place and finished the game with 21 points on 5-8 three-pointers along with five rebounds and two assists.
As the Rockets were without Paul due to the first game of his suspension from the brawl in the Rockets win against the Lakers, the Clippers took full advantage of this Rockets team.
Los Angeles clicked on all cylinders on offense as their ball movement helped them take quality shots. The Clippers also stuck to their defensive assignments as they had to put their focus on various players on the Rockets.
As the Clippers finished their three-game homestand 2-1, they look to build on what worked in this contest when they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday at Smoothie King Center. Their game will be broadcasted at 8 p.m. PT.