NBA: Surging Clippers send Rockets to 10th straight loss

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Mar 02 2022 12:57 PM

 LA Clippers center Ivica Zubac scores against Houston Rockets forward Jae'Sean Tate (R) during the first quarter of the NBA game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 February 2022. File photo. Etienne Laurent, EPA-EFE.
LA Clippers center Ivica Zubac scores against Houston Rockets forward Jae'Sean Tate (R) during the first quarter of the NBA game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 February 2022. File photo. Etienne Laurent, EPA-EFE.

Ivica Zubac recorded his 18th double-double on the season while Marcus Morris Sr. and Reggie Jackson combined for 35 points as the Los Angeles Clippers completed a three-game season series sweep of the Houston Rockets with a 113-100 road victory Tuesday.

Zubac paired 22 points with 12 rebounds to lead the Clippers to their sixth win in seven games -- with the past two of them coming against Houston.

Jackson had 17 points, six assists and five rebounds while Morris chipped in 18 points while shooting 4 of 6 from 3-point range. The Clippers moved two games over .500 for the first time since Dec. 22.

The Rockets absorbed their 10th consecutive loss. Jalen Green scored 20 points, Christian Wood tallied 17 points and eight rebounds and Jae'Sean Tate posted 12 points and nine rebounds.

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The Clippers seized control with a 40-point third quarter, a period during which they shot 58.3 percent while converting seven of their nine 3-point attempts. The deciding run, a 16-4 burst midway through the period, featured three Jackson 3-pointers plus two dunks from Zubac, who also added an assist.

The Clippers secured their first double-digit lead at 73-63 with the blitz and pulled away behind Zubac, who produced the defining moment of the period. He contested a shot by Alperen Sengun (13 points, nine rebounds) on the defensive end before beating Sengun down the court and finishing a dunk through a Sengun foul.

Zubac, who had 10 points and seven boards in the third, completed the three-point play as the Clippers extended their lead to 83-70 at the 2:01 mark.

Morris and Jackson scored nine points each in the third quarter to support Zubac. When the Rockets went the opening 3:05 of the fourth without scoring, their deficit swelled to 96-75.

Houston enjoyed promising moments prior to the collapse. Wood posted 12 points, three rebounds and two blocks in a forceful opening quarter, enabling the Rockets to rally from a six-point deficit to take a short-lived lead. Houston found an extended rhythm in the second, erasing a 34-29 deficit with an 18-6 run keyed by 3-pointers from Sengun, Tate, Dennis Schroder and Garrison Mathews.

However, Schroder was slowed by an ankle injury after the Rockets claimed a 47-40 lead, and while he remained in the game, the Clippers closed the half with a 9-3 burst and grabbed the momentum.