LOS ANGELES — Forward Blake Griffin scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Houston Rockets 101-93 Wednesday night at Staples Center.
The Clippers (40-20) beat the Rockets for the third straight time this season and made it five in a row over Houston in Los Angeles. The Rockets (39-19) lost for only the second time in 12 games.
Guard Darren Collison came off the Clippers’ bench to score 19 points. Point guard Chris Paul had 14 points and nine assists, while center DeAndre Jordan added 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.
Center Dwight Howard, who was booed each time he touched the ball, led the Rockets with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Houston guard James Harden, who scored a season-high 43 points in a rout of the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, scored 18 points and committed six turnovers. Reserve forward Jordan Hamilton had 16 points, but forward Chandler Parson managed just seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.
The Rockets took a 48-46 lead at the break despite 11 first-half turnovers, which led to 15 Clipper points, and 41.9 percent shooting (18 of 43). Although Los Angeles committed just six miscues, resulting in only four points for Houston, it managed to hit just 35.8 percent (19 of 53) of its shots before halftime.
Overall, the Clippers shot 44.1 percent (41 of 93) compared to 44.2 percent for Houston (34 of 77).
After Hamilton’s 3-point basket tied the score at 76 with 10:26 left in the game, the Clippers took the lead for good on consecutive 3-pointers by Collison and forward Jared Dudley for an 82-76 advantage.
Los Angeles guard Jamal Crawford left the game in the first half with a left calf strain and did not return. Crawford shot 2-for-10 from the floor and scored eight points in 16 minutes.
Forward Glen Davis, who got a buyout from the Orlando Magic and signed with the Clippers on Monday, made his debut with Los Angeles late in the third quarter. Davis finished with two points, two rebounds and two blocks in five minutes.
The clubs meet again March 29 in Houston.
NOTES: Clippers coach Doc Rivers confirmed the club’s pursuit of F Danny Granger, who received a buyout Wednesday from the Philadelphia 76ers. “Obviously, a guy with that talent, you want to look at. There’s no doubt about that,” Rivers said. “I don’t think it’s really up to us. I think it’s up to Danny.” The Clippers are believed to be front-runners for Granger since they can offer him a starting position, particularly with G J.J. Redick out due to a bulging disk. … Houston won six of its past seven road games entering the contest. The only blemish was a 102-99 loss in overtime to the Golden State Warriors. … The Rockets capped their five-game West Coast swing against the Clippers. Next is a two-game homestand, Saturday against the Detroit Pistons and Tuesday against the Miami Heat. … Los Angeles visits the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.
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