The Houston Rockets won Game 2 over the Clippers, 115-109, on Wednesday at Toyota Center, tying their second-round playoff series at 1-1.
The Rockets led by 12 points before the Clippers went on a 10-2 run to cut their deficit to four points, 111-107, with one minute left after Jamal Crawford made two free throws.
With 16.1 seconds left, Dwight Howard made two free throws to give the Rockets a six-point lead, 113-107. DeAndre Jordan answered with a dunk on an inbounds play with 15.5 seconds left to cut the Clippers’ deficit back to four, 113-109. James Harden made two more free throws with 13.3 seconds left to give the Clippers the six-point win.
The Rockets trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter before they went on a 20-4 run that extended from the end of the third to early in the fourth to take a nine-point lead, 98-89, with 8 minutes 27 seconds left.
The Clippers outshot the Rockets from the field, 45.3% to 42.5%, and from beyond the three-point line, 24% to 19.2%.
The Rockets, however, were sent to the free-throw line a whopping 64 times and made 42 of those shots. The Clippers shot half as many free throws (32), making 25 of them. The Rockets also outrebounded the Clippers, 54-40.
Harden led the Rockets with 32 points, 16 of which he scored in the fourth quarter. The NBA MVP runner-up made each of his 15 free throws, though he had just as many turnovers (seven) as assists (seven).
Dwight Howard had 24 points on eight-for-11 shooting, 16 rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 34 points on 13-for-23 shooting, 15 rebounds and 4 assists. Griffin, however, only had eight points in the second half.
Jamal Crawford had 19 points on six-for-22 shooting. And DeAndre Jordan had 16 points on six-for-six shooting and 12 rebounds.
The Clippers were playing without Chris Paul, who has a strained left hamstring, for the second consecutive game. Without their eight-time All-Star, the Clippers beat the Rockets on Monday in Game 1, 117-101.
The teams will now head to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4. Game 3 will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Staples Center. Game 4 will be there at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Matt Barnes made a jumper with 1 minute 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but James Harden answered with a driving layup to keep the Rockets’ advantage at six points, 111-105, with 1:11 left.
Jamal Crawford was then fouled with one minute left on a driving layup and made two free throws to cut the deficit to four, 111-107.
Corey Brewer then missed a shot, but with a chance to make it a one possession game, Austin Rivers turned the ball over when he lost control of a behind-the-back dribble and the ball went out of bounds.
Blake Griffin made a turnaround hook shot with 2:16 left to pull the Clippers to within six points, 109-103, with 2 minutes 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Griffin has 34 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field, 14 rebounds and four assists.
The All-Star power forward had a chance to cut the Clippers’ deficit to four, but another turnaround shot in the lane over Dwight Howard caromed away and Griffin deflected the rebound out of bounds with 1:34 left.
The Rockets used a pair of free throws from Dwight Howard, a dunk by Terrence Jones and two more free throws by James Harden to open an 11 point lead, 107-96, with 4:45 left in the fourth quarter.
In between the Rockets’ scoring opportunities, Matt Barnes missed two three-pointers and Blake Griffin had a turnover.
The Clippers went on a 5-1 run to cut the Rockets’ nine-point lead to five, 101-96, with 6 minutes 28 seconds left after Austin Rivers made a three-pointer followed immediately by a driving layup.
The Rockets have opened the fourth quarter with a 7-3 run to take a two-point lead, 90-88, with 10 minutes 26 seconds left. It was their first lead since early in the second quarter.
Houston has outscored the Clippers, 15-3, since Jamal Crawford gave L.A. a seven-point lead, 85-78, by making a running bank shot with 2:08 left in the third quarter.
Clippers 85, Rockets 83 (end of third quarter)
The Rockets went on a 15-4 run to cut the Clippers’ 13-point lead to three, 73-70, midway through the third quarter.
Jamal Crawford scored six consecutive points after starting the game shooting one for 11 from the field to put the Clippers ahead by seven points, 85-78, with 2 minutes 6 seconds left in the third.
The Rockets then closed the quarter with a 5-0 run to cut their deficit to two points entering the fourth quarter.
Blake Griffin leads the Clippers with 30 points on 12-for-18 shooting, 10 rebounds and three assists. DeAndre Jordan has 14 points on five-for-five shooting and 11 rebounds.
Dwight Howard has 19 points on eight-for-11 shooting, 12 rebounds and three assists. James Harden has 16 points on three-for-nine shooting, six assists and seven turnovers.
The Rockets are on a 9-2 run, cutting the Clippers’ 13-point lead to six, 71-65, after Jason Terry made a pull-up jumper with 7 minutes 35 seconds left in the third quarter.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers has called a timeout.
The Clippers have pushed their lead to 13 points, 69-56, at the top of the third quarter after Blake Griffin made a driving layup with 10 minute 30 seconds left.
Griffin has a game-high 28 points on 12-for-15 shooting, six rebounds and three assists.
Clippers 65, Rockets 56 (halftime)
Blake Griffin’s incredible play in the postseason has continued tonight in Game 2 or the Clippers-Rockets series. He leads all scorers with 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting to give the Clippers a nine-point halftime lead.
The Clippers outscored the Rockets in the second quarter, 41-21. The Clippers, who trailed by 11 points entering the second quarter, went on a 12-0 run to take a three-point lead, 42-39, with 7 minutes 46 seconds left in the first half.
They went on to lead by as many as 11 points, 63-52, after J.J. Redick made a three-pointer with 39.5 seconds left.
The Clippers are outshooting the Rockets from the field, 53.3% to 42.6%. Neither team is shooting particularly well from the three-point line -- the Clippers have made four of their 13 three-point attempts, while the Rockets have made two of their 14 shots from beyond the arc.
The Rockets are outrebounding the Clippers, 28-18. The Rockets, however, have 10 turnovers, while the Clippers have only four.
After Griffin, the next highest-scoring Clipper is DeAndre Jordan, who has 10 points on four-for-four shooting and seven rebounds. Jordan’s presence on the court has made a big difference for the Clippers -- he’s listed as plus-19 when he’s on the court.
Lester Hudson gave the Clippers a nice contribution off the bench, scoring five points on two-for-two shooting in less than six minutes of play.
Dwight Howard is leading the Rockets with 16 points on seven-for-nine shooting and 10 rebounds. James Harden has 12 points, though it took him eight shots to get them. Harden also has six assists and five turnovers -- more turnovers than the entire Clippers team.
The Clippers, who trailed by as many as 11 points entering the second quarter, went on a 12-0 run to take a three-point lead, 42-39, with 7 minutes 46 seconds left in the first half.
Lester Hudson has five points off the bench in less than six minutes for the Clippers.
Blake Griffin leads all scorers with 18 points on seven-for-10 shooting.
The Clippers opened the second quarter with an 11-4 run to cut their 11-point deficit to four, 39-35, with 9 minutes 42 seconds left in the second quarter.
That stretch included a three-pointer from Hedo Turkoglu and two slam dunks from DeAndre Jordan.
Rockets 35, Clippers 24 (end of first quarter)
James Harden made two free throws with 34 seconds left to put the Rockets ahead by 10 points, 34-24. Matt Barnes was then assessed a techincal foul, and Harden made another free throw to give the Rockets an 11-point lead, their largest advantage of the game.
The Rockets closed out the first quarter on an 11-4 run.
The Clippers led by as many as four points at the top of the quarter, 6-2, before the Rockets went on a 10-2 run to take a six-point lead with six minutes left.
The Rockets are outrebounding the Clippers, 21-7, and outshooting the Clippers from the field, 44.4% to 33.3%. Neither team is shooting well from beyond the three-point line -- the Clippers have missed each of their six attempts and the Rockets have missed eight of their nine attempts.
Blake Griffin leads the Clippers with 14 points on five-for-eight shooting. He also has two rebounds and one assist. The next highest-scoring Clippers is Glen Davis, who has four points.
Dwight Howard leads the Rockets with 10 points on five-for-six shooting and seven rebounds. Harden has nine points and four assists.
The Rockets went on a 10-2 run to take a six-point lead, 16-10, with six minutes left, capped by a put-back basket by Josh Smith.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers called a timeout to talk to his team.
The Rockets have taken their first lead of the game, 10-8, after Jason Terry made two free throws with eight minutes left in the first quarter.
The Rockets have been sent to the free-throw line 10 times, and have made six of their shots. The Clippers have only had two free throws, both of which they made.
Blake Griffin made a monster one-handed slam dunk to put the Clippers ahead by four points, 6-2, with 10 minutes 29 seconds left in the first quarter.
Griffin has all six of the Clippers’ points on two-for-two shooting. The Rockets have missed three of their first four shots.
Chris Paul will miss his second consecutive game against the Houston Rockets because of a strained left hamstring when the teams play Wednesday evening in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series at Toyota Center.
“He’s moving better today so that’s a good sign,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said of Paul. “But not good enough to play in a basketball game.”
The eight-time All-Star sustained the injury in the first quarter of the Clippers’ 111-109 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the first-round playoff series on May 2.
Paul, who played in all 82 regular-season games for the first time in his career, sat out his first game this year when the Clippers played the Rockets in Game 1 on Monday. Without Paul, Blake Griffin had game highs in points (26), rebounds (14) and assists (13) to help lead the Clippers to a 117-101 win over the Rockets at Toyota Center.
Austin Rivers started in Paul’s place in Game 1, finishing with 17 points and four steals, but he also had three turnovers. Rivers is also expected to start in Game 2.
The Clippers outshot the Rockets in Game 1 from beyond the three-point line, 41.9% to 33.3%, and from the free-throw line, 73.3% to 58.3%. The teams combined for 47 turnovers in that game -- the Rockets had 24; the Clippers had 23.