The Houston Rockets rallied from behind to edge past the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal series on Wednesday at home. Houston won 115-109 at the Toyota Center to tie the best of seven series 1-1.
James Harden was demoted to the bench after half-ime with five turnovers, as the home-side trailed by 13 points. Blake Griffin tore the rockets scoring 26 points in the first half. The Rockets pulled off a combined effort to bounce back in the second session and Harden came back in quarter 4 to make amends with 16 points. Houston finally managed to out-play the Clippers as they led by 12 points with 4 minutes of regulation remaining. The Rockets contained the Clippers without Chris Paul to 44 points in the second half. Paul sat out due to left-hamstring injury.
“The bottom line is this series in nor for the weak of heart,” Rockets guard Jason Terry revealed in the locker room. “The tougher team will win. Tonight, we came out in the second half a much tougher team. The first game and the first half of this game, they were the tougher team and so when you put this Rockets uniform on, you better come in here ready to fight.”
Blake Griffin topped the score sheet with 34 points but could score only 8 after halftime. For the Rockets, Harden finished with 32 points. Dwight Howard added 24 points and 16 rebounds to the tally. Trevor Ariza scored 15 points and 13 rebounds.
”I knew my team was battling extremely hard and basically it was up to me to go out there and push us forward,” Harden said after guiding his side home.