Clippers rout undermanned Houston Rockets

Clippers clamp down on defense and smother short-handed Rockets, 102-85, in Houston

The Clippers clamped down on defense in the second half, overwhelming the undermanned Houston Rockets on Friday night at the Toyota Center.

That was the main reason why the Clippers pulled off a 102-85 victory over the Rockets, who played without three starters, including All-Star center Dwight Howard.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 30 points and 10 rebounds while Jamal Crawford had 21 points and J.J. Redick added 15 points.

Clippers small forward Matt Barnes, who missed the last two games with a sore left calf, started against the Rockets. Barnes had two points, five rebounds, four assists and one technical foul.

The Rockets were without Howard (strained right knee), guard Pat Beverly (strained left hamstring) and forward Terrence Jones (left leg nerve inflammation) because of injuries.

Then late in the second quarter, Isaiah Canaan, who had been starting in place of Beverly, sprained his left ankle and didn’t return.

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