NBA Game Summary - Houston at LA Clippers
(Saturday, December 17th)
Final Score: LA Clippers 89, Houston 81
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Sam Cassell led a balanced attack with 22 points and dished out eight assists, as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Houston Rockets, 89-81, at Staples Center.
Los Angeles snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Rockets, with its last victory coming on December 14, 2002.
Elton Brand continued his MVP-caliber season with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Cuttino Mobley tallied 18 points for the Clippers, who snapped a season- high three-game losing streak.
Chris Wilcox scored 11 points and tied a career-high with 13 boards in the victory.
"This was a wake-up game for me," said Wilcox. "It's time for me to step up. I just have to keep it going."
Tracy McGrady led all scorers with 29 points, yet only scored four second-half points and was held in check down the stretch for the Rockets.
Yao Ming scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Juwan Howard grabbed 10 rebounds for Houston, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.
There were 10 ties and 12 lead changes through an evenly-played first 45 minutes before the Clippers put the game away late.
Trailing 82-75, Houston's Luther Head buried a trey from the right wing to trim the deficit to four with 2:51 left. Cassell answered with a three-pointer of his own to extend the advantage back to seven, 85-78.
McGrady missed a finger roll with under two minutes left and Brand made a mid- range jumper on the other end with 1:21 to go. Then, David Wesley drained a trey from the left corner off McGrady's penetration to make the score 87-81 with 39 seconds remaining.
Chris Kaman was fouled quickly and the center made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to make it a three-possession game.
After a Wesley miss, Brand made 1-of-2 free throws to seal the victory.
McGrady scored half of Houston's first-quarter points and the Rockets held a 24-23 advantage.
Los Angeles took a 31-25 lead in the second quarter on a running jump shot in the lane by Shaun Livingston, but Houston retook the advantage with a 12-4 spurt.
Two McGrady free throws and Moochie Norris' jumper with 7:11 left in the half gave the Rockets the lead.
Neither team led by more than six points in the opening 24 minutes and the game was tied at 49-49 at the half.
McGrady poured in 25 points, while Cassell led the Clippers with 14 points.
A tightly contested third quarter ended with the Clippers holding a slim 67-63 advantage.
Houston stays at the Staples Center to wrap up a six-game road trip at the Lakers on Sunday. The Rockets are 4-1 on the trip...Corey Maggette (foot) did not play...Los Angeles is 10-2 at home this season...Livingston dished out a season-high 10 assists...Wesley dished out eight assists in defeat.
12/17 21:21:32 ET