Clippers get their act together in time, beat Houston, 107-94

HOUSTON — His players "were all pouting" and their "body language was awful" when the game wasn't going the Clippers' way Saturday night against the Houston Rockets.

So Clippers Coach Doc Rivers jumped into his team, constantly encouraging and pushing them, telling them to "hang around."

The Clippers stayed the course by letting their defense be their guide in a 107-94 victory over the Rockets at the Toyota Center.

BOX SCORE: Clippers 107, Houston 94

After the Clippers rallied from 12 points down in the third quarter to get a win that left them 1-2 on the three-game trip, Rivers high-fived with his players before he walked off the court.

"It's just a good team builder for your team," Rivers said. "Hang around, get it going. Your defense won the game for you."

It was a Clippers defense that held the Rockets to 39 points on 36.1% shooting in the second half after giving up Houston 55 points on 52.4% shooting in the first half.

"We were all pouting," Rivers said. "Our body language was awful. And I just kept telling them to 'Just hang around. Hang around. Hang around. We'll find something for you eventually.' "

The Clippers found their resolve as a team.

They got 22 points and seven rebounds from Blake Griffin, 22 points from J.J. Redick and 12 points, 18 rebounds and three blocked shots from DeAndre Jordan.

They saw Chris Paul produce a double-double in all seven games, this time colleting 14 points and 13 assists.

They saw reserves Jamal Crawford (16 points) and Darren Collison (10 points) give the Clippers a big spark with their play.

"At some point, you are going to be competitive," Rivers said. "And I think we were."

Rivers said the players started "getting into the ball better, getting over picks and talking got better" on defense in the third quarter after they got down, 71-60.

From that point on, the Clippers took control of the game, going on an 18-0 run from the third into the fourth to open a seven-point lead early in the fourth.

"In that third quarter, we came out and played with a lot more purpose and a lot more passion," Paul said.

And the Clippers were doing this with Paul and Griffin each playing with five fouls in the fourth quarter.

But because they were playing their best defense of the game, defense such as Griffin taking a charge on Dwight Howard in the fourth, the Clippers gutted out a win over the Rockets for the second time in less than a week.

The Clippers held the Rockets to 23 points on 33.3% shooting in the fourth quarter.

James Harden wasn't a factor, scoring 12 points on four-for-15 shooting. Howard had 21 points, but only five in the second half.

"We showed up to the fight late, which we can't do," Paul said. "They were a little bit grittier. They were a little bit scrappier than us. Then we finally said, 'Enough is enough.' We found a way to come out with the win."

Twitter: @BA_Turner

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World