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Five takeaways from the Clippers' 122-103 loss to Houston

1. At the start of the second quarter Wednesday, with the Clippers having built a three-point lead over the Houston Rockets, Coach Doc Rivers inserted his normally reliable reserves into the game.

But as that group struggled to keep up with the mighty Rockets, the momentum of the game swiftly shifted in Houston's favor. The Clippers never recovered during the 122-103 loss.

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Rivers had put in bench players Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, Raymond Felton, Brandon Bass and Marreese Speights to start the second.

When the group saw the Clippers' lead become an eight-point deficit, Rivers went back to four of his starters: J.J. Redick for Felton; Blake Griffin for Bass; DeAndre Jordan for Speights; and Chris Paul for Austin Rivers.

Even at this early juncture of the game, it turned out to be too late for the Clippers to turn a tide that had gone against them with the reserves in the game.

2. After the game, Doc Rivers lauded the energized play of Rockets guard Patrick Beverley, saying he was the best player on the court.

Perhaps the most maddening thing for Rivers to watch was Beverley out-rebounding every Clippers player. Beverley had 12 rebounds, four offensive, to go with 14 points, four assists and his usual pesky and determined defense against Paul.

For the game, Beverley was a plus-32 in the plus-minus category.

3. The Clippers were destroyed on the backboards, getting out-rebounded, 62-36, by the Rockets. Jordan led the Clippers with nine boards, and guards Austin Rivers and Felton had five each. But the Clippers gave up 19 offensive rebounds, far too many shot opportunities for the potent Rockets.

4. As a team, the Clippers were a minus-19. The starters were a minus-55 as a group.

5. The Clippers didn’t get to the free-throw line often. But when they did, they failed to convert, making just 53.8% (seven for 13) of their free throws. Griffin was two for five from the free-throw line.

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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