The Houston Rockets proved that they’ve still got a lot of fight in them in their ongoing Western Conference semifinals series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Down 3-1 entering Wednesday night’s game at the Toyota Center, the Rockets did the home crowd proud, demolishing the Clippers to the score of 124-103.
Sunday night’s Game 4 encounter at the Staples Center was remembered for all the wrong reasons. The host Clippers won the game by a blowout (128-95) margin, and with Houston taking aim at Clips center DeAndre Jordan, the Rockets thought it would be a good idea to keep fouling the center, knowing his struggles from the line. Jordan would hit 14 out of a whopping 34 free throw attempts, going 10-for-28 in the first half alone, but at the end of the day, the Rockets’ strategy backfired.
Fortunately for Houston, the Rockets returned home last night to extend the Western Conference semis with a convincing rout that had little of the Hack-a-Dwight/Hack-a-DJ tactics of previous games. In fact, Jordan suffered from foul trouble for most of the game, and it was his second foul with 4:24 left in the first quarter that had the Rockets taking advantage, and not turning back. The 7-footer would pick up his third foul with 9:14 left in the third, and that would further allow the Rockets to keep pounding the paint and dominating the Clippers.
The Rockets drew a triple-double performance from James Harden (26 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists), and also got good performances from Trevor Ariza (22 points), Dwight Howard (20 points, 15 rebounds), and Corey Brewer (15 points). The L.A. Clippers were led by Blake Griffin (30 points, 16 rebounds) and Chris Paul (22 points, 10 assists), while Jordan had 13 points and 11 rebounds in only 24 minutes of play.