NBA: Rockets rally past Clippers for 13th straight home win


Posted at Mar 16 2018 11:14 AM | Updated as of Nov 28 2018 10:02 PM

Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) shoots the ball as LA Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell (0) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Eric Gordon and Clint Capela carried the load during a decisive third-quarter run, and James Harden later added a critical step-back jumper as the Houston Rockets claimed a 101-96 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers at Toyota Center.

Houston extended its home-court winning streak to 13 games by rallying from a 12-point deficit. Gordon was instrumental, scoring 11 of his 23 points down the stretch of the third quarter, with Houston closing that period on a 24-8 run to erase a 66-54 deficit.

Gordon matched his season high of seven 3-pointers while Capela produced a career-high six blocked shots to go along with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Houston shot just 38.9 percent from the floor and missed 29 of 41 3-point attempts, but Gordon and Capela helped weather the storm through those struggles.

The Rockets extended to a 98-90 lead before Austin Rivers (20 points) converted two layups as part of a 6-0 Clippers spurt. Harden answered with his midrange basket over Rivers with 29.4 seconds left to extend the lead to 100-96, helping Houston split the season series with Los Angeles.

Harden finished with 24 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Tobias Harris led the Clippers with 29 points while Lou Williams chipped in 14 points. Los Angeles' DeAndre Jordan corralled 18 rebounds.

Harris was the early linchpin for the Clippers, pouring in 14 first-quarter points on 6-of-9 shooting. His ability to beat defenders off the dribble and from the perimeter allowed the Clippers to hum along and offset a strong start from Harden, who was similarly effective.

Despite Harris' scoring punch, the Rockets led 28-26 entering the second. Then, the bottom fell out on the home team's offense, with Houston shooting 7 of 20 in the period while committing six turnovers. By the break, the Rockets had missed 15 of 20 3-point tries and were out of sync.

The Clippers, meanwhile, found complementary scoring from Williams, who had eight of his 10 first-half points down the stretch of the second quarter via his usual array of shooting wizardry.

Houston managed just 19 points in the second period and trailed by four at the intermission.