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Fiery Rockets sink Clippers 122-117

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Westbrook leads the way with 40.

Houston Rockets v LA Clippers
It was Bestbrook tonight.
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

If you don’t like THIS kind of regular season basketball is your name, perhaps, Ebeneezer Scrooge? Perhaps you will be visited by some basketball ghosts? After all, don’t we follow basketball for enjoyment? Excitement? Hard fought contests? Isn’t that the point, rather than perfect adherence to some sort of mathematical ideal?

Tonight both TNT games were outstanding, with the Lakers falling to the Bucks, and the Rockets coming from behind twice to down the Los Angeles Clippers.

This was also a game that opened my eyes to the fun Westbrook can bring to a basketball game. There’s been so much groaning about bad shots, and +/-. But if you actually watch the games, Westbrook has been excellent in the month of December. Sometimes the path is marked by a furious will to win, exhibited tonight by Russell Westbrook, and PJ Tucker. James Harden was good, but feeling under the weather, the Rockets needed other players to step up. Westbrook and Tucker certainly did that.

Westbrook

Westbrook: 40pts, 10rbs, 5ast and a sparkling 12/13FTs. It wasn’t the most efficient performance, sometimes exuberance got the best of Westbrook. But that same exuberance brought the Rockets back twice.

PJ Tucker was a defensive stalwart, and played exceptionally well with five fouls. He didn’t lose his cool when some of the calls against weren’t good ones, either. He just adjusted his play, stayed calm, hawked the passing lanes and somehow ended up with the most rebounds of any player in this contest at 12.

The Clippers played very well, and shot exceptionally well in the first half. They lead 69-54 at halftime. The game appeared to be over, but the Rockets refused to lie down. The Rockets pummeled the Clippers 36-18 in the third quarter, lead mostly by a fierce Westbrook. Early on in the 4th the Rockets managed to open a lead out to 12points.

The Clippers weren’t done, however. They came roaring back, on one of those runs of made threes that opened their lead in the first half. The game seemed over again, but again, the Rockets came back. James Harden sealed the deal with his shooting and calm, and the Rockets won the game 122-117.

It’s difficult to describe the excitement, frustration, and fun of this game. You have to watch to understand, and you have to understand, the regular season IS the NBA.

Poll

What is the biggest factor in the Rockets win?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Paul George’s colorblock hoodie.
    (13 votes)
  • 62%
    Russell Westbrook being a lunatic.
    (301 votes)
  • 22%
    More points for the Rockets than Clippers.
    (107 votes)
  • 12%
    The Blessing of St. Luka.
    (59 votes)
480 votes total Vote Now