Clippers prove they can beat the elite teams in the West.
There were 10 games on the NBA schedule on Wednesday night, with the Los Angeles Clippers coming out on top in the big clash in the Western Conference against rivals the Houston Rockets.
The pair are scrapping it out for the third seed in the West along with the Portland Trail Blazers, and it was the Clippers who secured a significant win in a week in which they have already defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Blake Griffin had 23 points and 16 rebounds while DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and 10 rebounds for his 30th double-double of the season.
Los Angeles appeared to match up well against their rivals from Houston, and as a result coach Doc Rivers will be delighted with the team’s performance as they can ultimately take confidence from these games forward into the post-season.
Chris Paul had 14 points and nine assists for the Clips who have now won for the sixth time in eight games which improves their season record to 40-20, while the Rockets slipped 39-19.
Elsewhere, there was a huge win for the Trail Blazers as they routed the Brooklyn Nets and eventually sealed a staggering 44-point victory despite missing LaMarcus Aldridge for the fourth straight game.
Will Barton had a season-high 20 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, while Mo Williams added 21 points and Nicolas Batum had 19 points to lead seven players into double figures.
“Our energy was not there,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said. “On the offensive end, we missed shots and we kind of felt sorry for ourselves — which carried over to the defensive end, and we didn’t make stops.”
Having recently showed signs of turning their season around and being able to comfortably book their playoff spot, the Nets still have a healthy lead over their rivals in the East as they sit in seventh spot.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls also secured a blowout win when they entertained the Golden State Warriors at the United Center.
Taj Gibson had 21 points, Carlos Boozer added 15 points and 13 rebounds and the Bulls found a way to win for the seventh time in eight games.
Jimmy Butler added 16 points after returning to action, Mike Dunleavy Jr had 15 while Joakim Noah grabbed 17 rebounds as it was another solid team effort from Tom Thibodeau’s men.
There was another big surprise on Wednesday night though, with the Cleveland Cavaliers defeating Oklahoma City on the road behind 31 points from Kyrie Irving.
Irving scored 14 points in the last quarter, while also adding nine assists, five rebounds and four steals to his night’s work as the Cavs picked up a morale-boosting victory over the struggling Western Conference leaders.
“To come here and get a win in this building versus this team and those players and that coaching staff, for us, is a good confidence booster,” coach Mike Brown said. “Everything for us right now to be a positive will help us long term just as much as it will short term.”
Jarrett Jack scored 21 points, Spencer Hawes had 19 and Tristan Thompson added 11 points and 11 rebounds as the Cavaliers put together a team effort to support Irving in what was undoubtedly their most significant win of the season thus far.
Kevin Durant was restricted to 28 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists while Russell Westbrook had 24 points and nine assists as OKC fall to their third straight loss.
Orlando Magic 101-90 Philadelphia 76ers
Atlanta Hawks 104-115 Boston Celtics
Golden State Warriors 83-103 Chicago Bulls
New Orleans Pelicans 89-108 Dallas Mavericks
Los Angeles Lakers 103-108 Memphis Grizzlies
Cleveland Cavaliers 114-104 Oklahoma City Thunder
Detroit Pistons 110-120 San Antonio Spurs
Phoenix Suns 86-109 Utah Jazz
Brooklyn Nets 80-124 Portland Trail Blazers
Houston Rockets 93-101 Los Angeles Clippers