Following a dominating performance against the Sacramento Kings, the Houston Rockets recorded their fourth straight victory in a 135-103 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Wednesday night, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. With the win, the Rockets avoided a regular-season sweep against the Clippers, and are currently 14-3 over their past 17 games.
On the second night of a back-to-back, the Rockets were everything but fatigued against the Clippers. Houston came out the gates firing on all cylinders, connecting on seven of their first eight attempts from behind the arc. Their hot start from the outside helped the rockets take a 39-26 lead within the first 12 minutes of the game.
Unfortunately for Los Angeles, Houston’s hot shooting would carry over to the rest of the game, as the Rockets took a 68-53 lead into halftime. Despite their sizzling start, the Rockets offense hit a wall temporarily, as the team went scoreless in the final three minutes of the second quarter.
However, Houston’s offensive struggles did not last as the Rockets extended their lead to 29 points heading into the fourth quarter. After taking a 102-73 lead into the final 12 minutes, the Rockets cruised to their fourth consecutive victory.
After one of the most efficient games of his career, it was another MVP performance for James Harden. While putting on a show in his hometown, The Beard had another remarkable night with 31 points (9-15 from the field), seven rebounds, and seven assists in the win. In the midst of adding another MVP performance to his season archive, Harden made history yet again.
Late in the first quarter, Harden became the third player in NBA history to record over 2,700 points and 500 assists in a single season, joining only Nate Archibald and Michael Jordan. While Harden put the MVP debate to rest with another great performance, his backcourt mate did a phenomenal job as a co-star alongside him.
After a rough night in Sacramento, Chris Paul bounced back with one of his best performances of the season. The nine-time all-star recorded 29 points (10-for-17 shooting from the field), seven assists, and four rebounds. Paul’s performance also earned him a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 after nailing a long-range buzzer beater to close out the third quarter.
Clint Capela had a productive night of 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Danuel House chipped in 13 points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field, 3-for-3 from behind the arc. For Los Angeles, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Clippers in scoring with 20 points, while Danilo Gallinari added 16 points in the loss.
Following the win, Houston improves to 51-28 on the season and an away record of 22-18 for the year. Up next, the Rockets will return home for a Friday night match-up against the New York Knicks. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. CT.