Griffin, Collison help Clippers top Rockets 101-93
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin had 23 points and 16 rebounds, reserve Darren Collison scored seven of his 19 points in the final 2:09 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Houston Rockets 101-93 Wednesday night.
The Clippers won for the sixth time in eight games, converting 20 Houston turnovers into 30 points. DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his 30th double-double. His previous career high was 12 last season.
Jamal Crawford, who had a season-high seven 3-pointers Monday night in a win at New Orleans, was 1 for 6 behind the arc against the Rockets and left the game for good with 13 seconds remaining in the first half because of a left calf strain. He played 15 minutes and had eight points.
Clippers starting forward J.J. Redick missed his ninth straight game because of a bulging disk in his lower back.
Veteran forward Glen Davis, reunited with former Celtics coach Don Rivers after signing with the Clippers on Sunday, was in uniform for the first time and entered with 1.8 seconds left in the third quarter.
Davis, who spent his first four NBA seasons playing for Rivers and won a championship with Boston as a rookie in 2007-08, had two points, two rebounds and three fouls in 6 minutes. He received a big hand from the sellout crowd early in the fourth quarter when he forced a jump ball and won the tip.
Dwight Howard had 23 points and 11 rebounds and James Harden added 18 points for the Rockets, who went 3-2 during a road trip against Pacific Division teams that began at Staples Center with a 134-108 rout of the Lakers.
Rockets forward Chandler Parsons, averaging 17.4 points over his last 15 games, missed his first six shots and finished 3 for 13 with seven points.
The victory gave the Clippers the tiebreaker for home-court edge in the playoffs over Houston if both teams finish the season with the same record. Los Angeles has won eight of the last nine meetings, two during a six-day span in early November.
The Rockets had won 16 of 20, including an eight-game winning streak that ended with an overtime loss at home to Golden State last Thursday. Houston avenged that defeat Tuesday night with a 129-103 rout as Harden scored a season-high 43 points — three off his career best — before sitting out the fourth quarter.
Collison and Jared Dudley, the first two players off the Clippers’ bench, hit consecutive 3-pointers 18 seconds apart to give them an 82-76 lead with 9:21 to play. Los Angeles never trailed after that.
Houston led 48-46 at halftime after erasing a 13-point deficit. Los Angeles opened the game with a 14-2 run as the Rockets missed seven of their first eight shots — including an attempted dunk by Howard, who went to the bench after picking up his second foul with 3:20 left in the first quarter and his team trailing 21-17. He didn’t get another one the rest of the game.
NOTES: Griffin has scored 20 or more points in a career-best 18 straight games. The only longer streak this season is by Kevin Durant, who is at 31 games and counting. … The game featured the three players with the most dunks in the NBA: Jordan (169), Howard (154) and Griffin (134). Griffin didn’t have a dunk the entire game. … Harden, who was born in L.A. and played high school ball in Lakewood, is averaging 12.3 points on 34.3 percent shooting in 15 career games against the Clippers. … The teams conclude their season series March 29 at Houston, where the Clippers will go for their first four-game season sweep of the Rockets. They won all three meetings in 2011-12.
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