In what can only be considered a massive upset, the short-handed LA Clippers defeated the Houston Rockets in a shootout last night. The Rockets were favored to win last night by 11 points, but that didn’t matter to the Clippers. It didn’t matter to the Clippers that the Rockets had the best record in the league. James Harden scored 51 points again, and even that didn’t matter.
The Clippers withstood Harden’s 51 point barrage, through a balanced team effort led by Austin Rivers’ career 36 point night.
Lou Williams dropped a career-high 7 threes (three in a row in the 4th), for 32 points.
Deandre Jordan had a 15 point, 20 rebound game, that saw him sinking 4 clutch free throws in the 4th quarter.
The rookie Jawun Evans put up a great 15 point and 4 assist game off the bench. In the closing minutes of the game, Evans played incredibly pesky defense on Harden that resulted in Harden getting ejected out of frustration.
Last night was truly a team win for the LA Clippers, one where nearly everyone played their best game of the season.
Los Angeles may not have stopped Houston’s 3 point barrage, but they surprisingly withstood it. While the Rockets made 17 threes (42%), the Clippers made 18 of their own (43%). Last night was a true shootout, where both teams shot an incredibly high clip.
The lone difference between the two teams that set them a part was the turnovers. In the pre-game I mentioned that the Clippers needed to limit their turnovers to win this game, and that’s exactly what they did. Los Angeles had only 8 turnovers compared to Houston’s 17. The Clippers scored 18 points off of Houston’s turnovers, just enough to give LA the slight edge.
The Final Clip: Last night was the best win of the season for the LA Clippers. The team had their best offensive performance of the season, overcame a 15 point deficit, and played clutch defense down the stretch. LA plays Memphis tomorrow, and hopefully they can ride this momentum with Milos returning to the starting lineup.