Rockets’ Plan Backfired, Lose Big To Clippers; Down 3-1

LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — The Los Angeles Clippers are one win away from making a franchise maiden conference finals after they beat the Rockets 128-95 in Game 4 of the Western Conference semi-finals on Sunday. Box score

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NBA Playoffs
DeAndre Jordan of Clippers in Game 4.

LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — The Los Angeles Clippers are one win away from making a franchise maiden conference finals after they beat the Rockets 128-95 in Game 4 of the Western Conference semi-finals on Sunday. Box score

DeAndre Jordan, who went to the free throw line 34 times for the game and a record 28 times for a half in the first half, finished with 26 points and 17 rebounds to lead the way for the Clippers, who took a 3-1 lead in the best of seven game series.

“I was just trying to make as many (free throws) as I could for our team, and on the other end just try to get us as many stops as I could in a row,” said Jordan.

“Every time that we’ve gotten the lead and went on a run, we were able to get stops and limit those guys to one shot and get out and run and do what we want to do, and we were able to convert.”

Blake Griffin had 21 points and eight rebounds for Los Angeles, which had six players scoring in double-digits.

“The best part about today’s game was how we responded after the half, came out and did such a great job of defending and getting out and getting easy buckets,” said Griffin.

J.J. Redick scored 18 points and Chris Paul added 15 points and 12 assists for the Clippers, who were 37-of-63 from the free throw line.

James Harden led the Rockets with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists, with Trevor Ariza finishing with 18 points and eight rebounds.

Houston now knows they are on the brink of elimination.

“This is the ultimate adversity right now,” Harden said. “We’ve got Game 5 back at the house and it’s really win or go home.

“Our backs are against the wall, and we’ve got to show up.”

Dwight Howard fell in early foul trouble and it came back to haunt him as he played just 18 minutes before fouling out with seven points and six rebounds in the defeat for Houston.

Howard fouled out and then got a technical foul for an ejection with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter. The Clippers were already running away with the contest, being up 110-81 at the time of him departing.

Jason Terry ended with 16 points for the Rockets.

Clippers led the Rockets 60-54 at half time.

Meanwhile, Rockets coach Kevin McHale revealed that he decided to start the Hack-A-DJ madness early because Howard go in foul trouble early and they needed the slow the pace of the game down.

Game 5 in the series in Houston on Tuesday.

Reporting by Micah Disney, SportingAlert.
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LA Clippers v Rockets
Clippers v Rockets Game 4 coverage

DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin each have 12 points and the Clippers lead the Rockets 60-54 at half-time in Game 4 of the Western Conference semi-finals.

Jordan has been sent to the free throw line a staggering 28 times, which is an NBA record for a half. It erased Shaquille O’Neal’s previous mark of 27. O’Neal has also shot an NBA playoff record 39 free throws in 2000 against Indiana.

Chris Paul has eight points and six assists and Jamal Crawford also has eight points off the bench for the Clippers.

Trevor Ariza has 15 points seven rebounds, while Terrence Jones and James Harden each have 10 points for the Rockets.

Howard, who already has three fouls exits the contest in the second quarter with 8:19 left, having played just 7 minutes.

Early Second Quarter Run

First-Quarter Updates LA Clippers 30, Houston 33

Game 4 Clippers v Rockets
NBA Half-Time: Clippers v Rockets

Top Performers

Hou: J. Harden 10 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Ast
LAC: C. Paul 5 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

Live TNT | TNT Overtime Live Stream
Line: LAC -6.5 Live GameCast and Live Box Score

Houston Rockets lead the Los Angeles Clippers 33-30 at the end of the first quarter in Game 4 of the Western Conference semi-finals.

Houston Rockets lead the Los Angeles Clippers 33-30 at the end of the first quarter in Game 4 of the Western Conference semi-finals.

Dwight Howard fell into early foul trouble after picking up a quick two, and was forced to sit on the bench midway through the opening 12-minutes.

James Harden hit both his three-pointers on his way to scoring 10 points for the Rockets. He went 3-of-3 from the floor in the opening stanza.

Trevor Ariza also has 10 points for the travelers.

DeAndre Jordan has nine points for the Clippers and has already gone to the free throw line 14 times.

He’s made seven of those for 50-percent. Both teams are showing over 56-percent from the floor and have 14 points each in the paint.

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Chris Paul
Chris Paul to start again for Clippers: Twitter

HOUSTON (Sporting Alert) — Chris Paul will start again for the Clippers against the Rockets in their Western Conference battle, but  the guard is expected to have minutes restriction for Game 4.

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers
Game 4, 7:30 PM CT, May 10, 2015
Live TNT | TNT Overtime Live Stream
Line: LAC -6.5
Live GameCast and Live Box Score

Paul picked up a left hamstring injury in Game 7 of the San Antonio Spurs series and had to sit-out Game 1 and Game 2 of this current series with Houston.

He returned to score 12 points and seven assists in the 124-99 victory in Game 3, but was restricted to just 23 minutes.

“He actually felt better today,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “That was the best sign of the whole game.”

Paul confirmed that he is good to go.

“I’m cool, I’m good, I’ll be ready for tomorrow (today),” Paul said. “There’s no speculation, probable or questionable. I’m playing tomorrow.”

On Sunday, the All-Star point guard is set for another minutes limitation outing, which will allow Rivers to continue to use son, Austin Rivers, who saw 23 minutes off the bench in Game 3 and scored 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting.

Paul is averaging 21.4 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals from eight games in this postseason.

“For me, it was about getting out there and trying to be that leader,” Paul noted. “I tried to pick my spots as well as possible, but we still played through Blake [Griffin] as we should.

“He’s been our MVP in this series and we’re going to keep playing through him like we do.”

J.J. Redick, who exploded for a season-high 31 points, Blake Griffin (22) and DeAndre Jordan, who added 15 rebounds in the win the last time out, are expected to play important roles again in Sunday night’s contest for the role team as well.

The LA Clippers shot an impressive 55.4 percent from the field, outscored the Rockets 23-19 on fast break points, as well as outrebounded the hosts 50-43 in Game 3.

James Harden and the Rockets will be desperate to even the series before heading back to Los Angeles for Game 5.

“We just let go of the rope and they piled on us,” Rockets coach Kevin McHalesaid. “We got rattled in that third quarter. Our team defense went to hell.”

Harden had 25 points and 11 assists in Game 3, but missed some crucial shots and had five turnovers in the defeat, as Houston shot 39.8 percent from the floor.
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