The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication
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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Chris Paul leads Clippers over Rockets

Rockets 11-game home winning streak snapped

Posted: March 29, 2014 -- 10:57 pm CDT.

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets were without Dwight Howard and Pat Beverley Saturday night. Blake Griffin played six minutes before leaving the game due to back spasms. The Rockets still had James Harden and Chandler Parsons while the Clippers still had Chris Paul.

Advantage: Chris Paul.

Paul led the Clippers to a 118-107 win over the Rockets with a 30 points, 12 assists virtuoso performance. With the loss, the Rockets are 0-4 with the Clippers this regular season.

Paul was pedestrian in the first period with just two points and two assists; but, he was sensational in the second quarter with 17 points and four assists to erase the Rockets' 10 point (33-23) first-quarter lead and give the Clippers a 61-58 halftime lead.

"We didn't have any answers for Chris Paul," said Kevin McHale after the game.

When Paul wasn't knocking down shots, teammate Jamal Crawford lit up the Rockets with 22 points. DeAndre Jordan scored 20 points; grabbed 12 rebounds; and blocked six shots. Matt Barnes added 15 points while Darren Collison chipped in 11 points.

The Rockets shot 56.5% (13 for 23) from the floor in the first quarter; but, they made just 19 shots out of their last 56 field goals the next three quarters. Eight assists in the first 12 minutes. Six assists the final 36 minutes.

"After the first quarter, we kind of struggled moving the ball. We didn't have good ball movement. We didn't have good body movement. We couldn't sustain anything offensively. They switched; and, we didn't do what we had done earlier which was attacking with the ball. And, we got really stagnant. That's as bad as we've been, stagnant-wise and ball movement-wise, in a long time."

James Harden scored a team-high 32 points (9 for 22 field goals, 11 for 13 free throws); but, he also led the team with six turnovers. The Rockets turned the ball over 19 times which the Clippers converted into 20 points. Conversely, the Clippers turned the ball over just nine times for 12 Rockets' points.

Chandler Parsons added 28 points (9 for 19 field goals). Parsons also defended Paul for much of the game.

Jeremy Lin struggled Saturday night. Lin made just one of his 9 field goals and had more turnovers (3) than assists (2).

Terrence Jones scored two points in 18 lifeless minutes. Jones picked up four fouls in the 18 plus minutes.

McHale wrapped up his post-game comments saying, "When their top guy (Chris Paul) has 30 points and 12 assists, you're going to get in trouble. You've got to make him score and not get the assist or make him get a lot of assists. He did everything. He just went wherever he wanted with the ball. We were not sharp.

"He's a hell of a guard."

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