Clippers Win Series-opener Against Rockets Without Chris Paul
Chris Paul sitting out with a hamstring injury couldn’t hamper the Los Angeles Clippers’ winning streak. Clippers kicked off their Western Conference semifinal Campaign against the Houston Rockets with a 117-101 win at Toyota Center on Monday.
The Clippers pulled off a sensational series victory against defending champions San Antonio Spurs, notching up back-to-back wins in the last two games. Chris Paul guided the Clippers to win the decider against Spurs after sustaining a left hamstring injury. Paul was rested in the opening encounter due to the injury at Houston.
The Rockets led by 13 points in the second quarter, but the Clippers came back strongly in the second half. Houston only trailed by one point, 89-88 with 7:20 minutes remaining in the final quarter. Till then, Game 1 was keenly contested. Los Angeles then blew their opponents with a 12-0 run after J.J Redick triggered a running jumper. The Rockets were left without scoring for a spell of 4 minutes and the Clippers went on to lead by 18 points in the final minute.
“We didn’t play with much composure all night long,” Rockets’ coach Kevin McHale said. “We were just sloppy. They played with more of an edge. They played harder than we did. I didn’t believe our effort, for a second-round game, trying to hold homecourt, with them coming off a dogfight series, they had more energy than we did.”
The Game dished out ugly scenes with 47 turnovers, the Clippers had 23 and the Rockets committed 24.
Blake Griffin scored a triple-double and finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists. Though he gave away 5 turnovers.
Jamal Crawford had 21 points, five rebounds and four assists. Redick couldn’t open his account in the first half but notched up 17 points in the 2nd.
Game 2 is scheduled on Wednesday at Houston.