NBA: Paul George, Clippers look to stay hot vs. Rockets

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Apr 09 2021 11:32 PM

Paul George has been the catalyst during the Los Angeles Clippers' three-game winning streak.

During that stretch, George averaged 28.3 points while shooting 68.2 percent from 3-point line.

So, what's been the key during George's torrid scoring streak?

"Make or miss, I think I'm in a good place when I come out, play to be aggressive and look to score," George said. "Everything kind of takes care of itself, but if I've got a scorer's mentality, it gives me confidence to go out and make shots."

The Clippers are playing their best basketball at the right time heading into Friday's game against the visiting Houston Rockets. And they've benefitted from the addition of veteran point guard Rajon Rondo.

Playing in his second game with his new team, Rondo finished with 15 points, nine assists and no turnovers in a 113-103 win over the visiting Phoenix Suns on Thursday. His production helps take some of the burden off George and Kawhi Leonard.

"He's doing everything we thought he was going to do when he got here," coach Tyronn Lue said about Rondo. "He's controlling the game, controlling the tempo and making some great passes for guys to have open shots."

The Clippers are 5-2 on the team's current, nine-game homestand. Los Angeles has won three straight games and nine of its last 11 overall.

The Rockets enter Friday's contest on a positive note. They snapped a five-game losing streak with a 102-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday in Houston.

The Rockets benefitted from the return of guard John Wall, who missed four games with swelling in his right knee.

Houston head coach Stephen Silas will take the highs with the lows in his first season with the team. The Rockets recently experienced a tough stretch as they endured a franchise-worst 20-game losing streak.

Now, Silas will try to create some momentum for the Rockets by attempting to get a win against the streaking Clippers at Staples Center. Entering Friday's contest, the Rockets are 7-18 on the road so far this season.

"What we want to draw from (Wednesday) was the defensive mindset we had, the adaptability that we had as far as changing defenses," Silas said. "And the spirit. Everybody I think who watched the game saw the spirit of our group, especially down the stretch."

One of the few bright spots for Houston has been the play of forward Christian Wood. He's averaging a career-high 21.0 points and 9.6 rebounds a contest.

Wood missed significant time earlier this season with a left ankle injury. He is still working to get back to where he was at the beginning of the campaign.

"I've been kind of a step slow since coming back from the injury," Wood said. "But I'm slowly but surely getting back into rhythm. And I think with that much time I had off and still not being 100 percent, it's finally good feeling myself slowly getting back into a rhythm."

--Field Level Media


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