NBA Game Summary - Houston at LA Clippers
(Saturday, March 17th)
Final Score: LA Clippers 95, Houston 91
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Chris Paul scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Clippers overcame a slow start to defeat the Houston Rockets, 95-91, at Staples Center.
Blake Griffin added 18 points and eight rebounds, while Randy Foye contributed 15 points, five boards and four assists for Los Angeles, which earned its second win in three games.
Courtney Lee netted a season-high 25 points and Goran Dragic had 11 with a career-high 14 assists for the undermanned Rockets, who were playing without assist leader Kyle Lowry (bacterial infection), leading scorer Kevin Martin (shoulder) and starting forward Chandler Parsons (illness).
Chase Budinger had 19 points and Patrick Patterson finished with 14 as Houston had its two-game win streak snapped.
"We could have done better," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said. "They were aggressive down the stretch. They beat us up on the boards and that cost us the game."
The Clippers trailed, 47-39, at the break after shooting just 38.1 percent from the floor, but they started to battle back in the third quarter.
After back-to-back baskets by Samuel Dalembert and Luis Scola gave the Rockets a 12-point cushion, 51-39, less than two minutes into the third, the Clippers responded with a 17-5 run to knot the game at 56 just past the midpoint of the quarter on Paul's step-back jumper.
The remainder of the period saw three ties and Houston hold no more than a three-point lead as the Clippers could not gain the advantage until Mo Williams' trey with 4.4 seconds left gave Los Angeles a 69-66 lead entering the fourth quarter.
It remained a one-possession game over the first six minutes of the fourth as the teams traded baskets until an 8-2 swing by the Rockets put them ahead, 81-76, with 5:06 to play.
Houston held an 87-81 advantage with a less than three minutes left in the game before Paul took over, recording the game's next six points to knot the game at 87 with 1:35 remaining with a pair of free throws.
Patterson's free throws at the other end gave Houston the lead back, but Paul grabbed the offensive rebound off a missed Griffin layup and connected on a fadeaway jumper at the foul line to tie the game at 89 with 57.6 seconds left.
Patterson had a chance to put the Rockets on top on the ensuing possession, but his step-back jumper was too strong, resulting in Paul's driving layup that put the Clippers on top for good.
Coming out of a timeout with 24.6 seconds on the clock, Paul stole the ball off a Dragic pass under the basket and fed Foye, who was fouled while attempting a dunk and sank two foul shots to seal the win for Los Angeles.
"The guys gave me great screens on the pick-and-roll and gave me chance to score," said Paul. "But at the end we got stops and that's what won the game for us."
The Clippers took control early when they opened the game with a 13-4 run, but the rest of the first half belonged to the Rockets.
After Griffin's jumper gave Los Angeles a 17-10 advantage with a little over five minutes left in the first quarter, the Clippers did not score again until Kenyon Martin's tip-in within the final second.
Houston, meanwhile, reeled off 13 straight points in between Griffin and Martin's baskets to take a 23-19 lead into the second quarter.
The Rockets' offensive outburst continued in the second quarter, which they started with a 17-7 run to jump out to a 40-26 lead.
Foye snapped the swing with a three-pointer and added a jumper to spark a 9-0 spurt by Los Angeles to close the gap to five, 40-35.
But Houston responded with five straight points to regain its double-digit lead and held a 47-39 advantage at the break.
The Clippers improved to 2-3 on a six-game homestand and 14-8 at home overall...Derek Fisher, who Los Angeles acquired before Thursday's trade deadline from the Lakers, has still not reported to the team...The game had a total of eight lead changes and nine ties...The Clippers held a 45-35 advantage on the glass.
03/17 18:56:37 ET