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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rockets routed by Clippers, 102-85

Posted: November 28, 2014 -- 11:30 pm.

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets added another player to the Injury List Friday night during a 102-85 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers: guard Isaiah Canaan injured his left ankle in the second quarter.

With 2:57 left in the second quarter, Canaan was fouled by Clippers' guard Chris Paul. After the foul, Canaan laid on the court for a few minutes. Then, he limped to the free throw line - made the first free throw and missed the second. James Harden took a foul to stop the clock and allow Canaan to limp to the locker room. Canaan didn't return to the ball game; and, after the game, Canaan's left ankle was in a walking boot and he was walking with the aid of crutches.

Canaan believes (hopes) he won't be out of action long.

"Probably just a few days," said Canaan. "I just really have to get the swelling out so that I will be able to put pressure on it. Probably just a couple of days."

After LA's JJ Redick began the game with a three-point basket, the Clippers missed five consecutive shots; and, the Rockets scored 10 straight points -- including a four point play from Canaan.

The Rockets (12-4) extended the lead to 17-9 before Blake Griffin imposed his will on the Rockets' lightweight big men. Griffin scored 10 straight points, inside and outside, to cut the Rockets' lead to 21-19. Francisco Garcia nailed a 3; but, the Clippers scored the last seven points of the first period to lead 26-24 after 12 minutes.

"I tried to be more aggressive early and get into the lane and put up some shots," Griffin said. "We just did a good job of moving the ball early and even though they were banged up, I thought it was a good game for us moving the ball around."

Jamal Crawford owned the second quarter. Crawford scored 12 points in the 2nd period (4 for 6 field goals, 2 for 3 on threes); and, the Clippers outscored the Rockets 30-20 in the second stanza to take a 56-44 lead into the locker rooms.

The Rockets shot 17 for 40 (42.5%) from the floor in the first half while the Clippers made 20 of 39 field goals (51.3%). Griffin scored 18 points and Crawford added 15 points. Canaan led the Rockets with 13 points before his injury.

The Clippers led by as much as 18 points three times in the third quarter; but, the Rockets trimmed five points off the deficit and trailed 85-72 heading into the fourth quarter.

Neither team scored for the first three and a half minutes of the final quarter; but, once De'Andre Jordan slammed home an assist from Jordan Crawford and added the free throw, the Clippers went on a 12-1 run to lead by 24 points (97-73) and blow the game wide open.

"Our bigs were not very aggressive tonight," Kevin McHale said after the game. "They (Clippers) came off early in the game and our bigs were way back. There really wasn't any pressure on their guards. He (Griffin) was able to do whatever he wants and stretch us out. Blake (Griffin) just kind of had his way with us for a while down there. He was scoring and then (Jamal) Crawford came in and hit a couple of tough shots but our bigs were back. We were really, really soft defensively. We did not have a very good defensive effort from a team standpoint. Our bigs were real soft defensively."

Griffin finished the game with a game-high 30 points. Crawford scored 21 points off the bench. James Harden scored a team-high 16 points for the Rockets. Canaan and Ariza each added 13 points while Tarik Black chipped in 11 points.

"We will be alright," James Harden said. "It is a tough game for us. We just got tired a little bit. We were getting stops. Early in the fourth quarter we just couldn't make a shot. It is that way some times. We have a great bounce back game tomorrow and we've got to be ready."

The Rockets travel to Milwaukee to face the Bucks Saturday night.

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