NBA Game Summary - LA Clippers at Houston
(Monday, April 18th)
Final Score: Houston 115, LA Clippers 90
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Yao Ming scored a team-high 24 points, Tracy McGrady posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists and playoff bound Houston pasted the lowly Clippers, 115-90, at the Toyota Center.
Bob Sura and Scott Padgett each netted 15 points, while David Wesley added 13 points for streaking Houston, which has won six straight. Mike James came off the bench to chip in 11 points for the Rockets, who shot a scorching 50 percent from beyond the arc (13-of-26).
Houston locked up the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and will face Dallas in the first round. The Rockets, who close out the regular season Wednesday against Seattle, started the night tied for fifth with Sacramento, but own the tiebreaker over the Kings, who lost to Utah on Monday and will be the sixth seed.
"The playoffs are definitely going to be a different ballgame and there are still a lot of ways we can get better," said McGrady.
Elton Brand netted a season-high 36 points to pace the dismal Clippers, who have dropped four of six. Mikki Moore added 14 in the loss.
Houston, which led 40-31 after one quarter of play, started to pull away in the second. A quick 9-2 spurt was capped by Padgett's trey from the corner, staking the Rockets to a comfortable 49-33 lead with around seven minutes left in the first half. The Rockets then carried a commanding 70-49 lead into the locker room.
The Clippers attempted to fight back, trimming the deficit to 70-57 on Moore's jumper with 9:20 left in the third. However, Houston answered with a 7-0 run to push the lead back to 20 points. Sura's three from the top of the key ended the surge, as the Rockets owned a 77-57 lead moments later.
Houston led 92-75 after three quarters of action. Los Angeles never recovered from that point on en route to 25-point rout.
The last time the Clippers defeated the Rockets was on December 14, 2002. The Clippers have lost five in a row and seven of their last nine at Houston...LA fell to 9-31 as the visitor this season. The Clippers finished the 2003-04 campaign with a 10-31 record away from home...Houston, which has allowed under 100 points in 14 of its last 16 games, improved to 8-1 in Monday games this season.
04/18 23:13:53 ET