Tonight we wanted to see some heart and fight out of the Houston Rockets. Actually we more demanded that we see some heart and fight out of the Houston Rockets. We needed to see some leadership and intensity from James Harden, we needed to see Dwight Howard get more touches in the paint.
None of that happened as the Los Angeles Clippers completely destroyed the Rockets once again, 128-95. The Rockets have a chance to extend the series by winning Tuesday night back in Houston.
Again, the Rockets were overmatched in the third quarter. The Clippers completely outclassed them, extending a six point half time lead to 24 points. We did see some fight in from the Rockets during this stretch, but it more in the form of a Triple H style spine buster from Dwight Howard on to Blake Griffin. The Rockets allowed 43 points in the quarter, the most the Clippers scored in a quarter in their history.
Howard would eventually be ejected in the fourth after another hard foul on Griffin.
Kevin McHale deployed the hack-a-Jordan tactic in the first quarter and even though DeAndre Jordan missed 63 percent of his free throws, it seemed to through the Rockets out of sync more offensively than it did the Clippers.
The defense was once again non-existent on both the three-point stripe and on the pick-and-roll. There was one point during the determining run in the third that Chris Paul hit DeAndre Jordan on three straight pick-and-roll lobs. It was if they didn't review the game footage at all from game three.
The Rockets no-showed again Up until garbage time, the Rockets bench had five combined points between Corey Brewer, Josh Smith, Clint Capela and Pablo Prigioni. Nick Johnson scored seven points in the first three minutes he was in the game.
Jason Terry and Trevor Ariza had solid first half scoring performances. Joey Dorsey had a better free throw percentage tonight than Howard. That's about it. Not many positives outside of Nick Johnson showing some spark off the bench.
Game 5 is Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. CST with TNT once again carrying the game.