NBA Game Summary - LA Clippers at Houston
(Thursday, March 25th)
Final Score: LA Clippers 99, Houston 93
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Craig Smith came off the bench and recorded season-highs of 25 points and 10 rebounds, as the Clippers dealt the Rockets' playoff chances a huge blow by pulling out a 99-93 decision at the Toyota Center.
Baron Davis added 16 points and eight assists and hit big baskets down the stretch for Los Angeles, which had lost 11 straight on the road coming in and 10 of 11 overall.
Drew Gooden checked in with 17 points and 14 rebounds for the victors.
Trevor Ariza contributed 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Houston, which fell 6 1/2 games behind Portland for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"It's disappointing. We busted our tails but we just didn't have enough," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said.
Aaron Brooks also scored 18 points to go with nine assists, while Luis Scola ended with 16 points and 14 boards in defeat.
LA trailed 70-69 heading to the fourth but went in front for good when Gooden hit a jumper and Smith converted a three-point play, the latter resulting in an 80-76 score with 5:39 remaining.
Still trailing by four, 90-86, in the final stages, Scola missed a short attempt after Chuck Hayes grabbed Brooks' failed three-point try.
Davis' pullup jumper on the next possession resulted in a 92-86 lead with 46.7 seconds left, and the visitors held on from there.
Houston led by as many as 12 in the opening quarter and took a 28-19 cushion into the second. LA's 9-1 run in the second, capped by a Davis three near the midway point, tied things a 33-all, and the Clippers held a slim 44-43 edge at halftime.
The Rockets scored 11 straight points early in the third, taking a 54-46 advantage on a Hayes hook shot less than four minutes in. The Clippers scored on eight straight possessions later in the quarter to take the lead back, 68-67, on Smith's three-point play with 2:18 left in the frame.
"I think the Rockets ran out of gas," Gooden said. "They had a game last night. We just stayed with it and stayed strong and took advantage of that."
Eric Gordon scored 14 points for LA, which outrebounded the Rockets, 56-42...Kyle Lowry and Chase Budinger each scored 14 points for Houston.
03/26 01:53:01 ET