The Houston Rockets held off a furious rally by the Los Angeles Clippers for a 100-98 victory in a thrilling Sunday matchup.
Russell Westbrook – (Video) Oklahoma City Thunder point guard leads team to win over Chicago Bulls
Rodney Stuckey – Detroit Pistons guard blasts team for trying to destroy his reputation
Steve Kerr – Golden State Warriors head coach e-mails frustrated fans
The Clippers led the Rockets, 30-22, at the end of the first quarter before the Rockets went on a 36-point tear in the second quarter.
The Rockets eventually took a 15-point lead in the third quarter before the Clippers came roaring back in the fourth and went on a 13-5 run to tie the game.
After Rockets forward Terrence Jones made a three-pointer, Clippers forward Matt Barnes made it a one-point game with 1:35 remaining before missing a crucial free throw.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin stole the ball with 14 seconds left, but he blew a golden opportunity to give the Clippers the lead by charging and being called for an offensive foul.
Rockets MVP candidate James Harden missed one of his two free throws with eight seconds left before Clippers point guard Chris Paul missed the Clippers’ last chance to send it to overtime.
Harden led the Rockets with 34 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while forward Trevor Ariza added 19 points and seven rebounds.
For the Clippers, Paul scored 23 points but struggled until scoring points in the fourth quarter that nearly allowed the Clippers to complete their comeback.
Center DeAndre Jordan did not get involved in the scoring game, but he grabbed a whopping 20 rebounds.