Clippers Dominate Rockets 128-95: The 5 Things We Learned

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May 10, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) dribbles the ball while pursued by Houston Rockets guard Terrence Jones (6) and center Dwight Howard (12) in game three of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Rockets 128-95 to take a 3-1 lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With Chris Paul back in their rotation, the Los Angeles Clippers’ control over this series has become even more dominant. They cruised to a 128-95 victory and made the Houston Rockets look like they don’t even belong in the second round.

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Their superstar point guard played 26 minutes in game four and executed in the efficient way that we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing over his career. Paul finished with 15 points and 12 assists, including 3-of-4 shooting from three point range. He toyed with the Rockets’ defense with his shooting and pick-and-rolls, employed his defensive abilities as usual and the Clippers maintained a +/- of +28 whenever he was on the floor.

But CP3’s comeback is just scratching the surface as to how the Clippers have destroyed the Rockets so far.

Game four didn’t just see the reassuring return of Paul for Clippers’ fans, though. Between both teams, a total of 93 free throws were taken, with only 52 makes. The hack-a-Jordan tactic wasn’t entertaining for anyone, and it takes the momentum and pace out of any game when one player (DeAndre Jordan, of course) takes an NBA playoff record 28 first half free throws.

The Rockets reduced their incessant fouling in the second half, though, as Jordan attempted just six more free throws. However, as the third quarter got going, it didn’t really matter what Houston tried to do anyway. The Clippers opened the third period with a 29-7 run and the game soon got out of hand.

J.J. Redick has shown over the last two games that he’s starting to learn how to guard James Harden as well — by keeping him off the free throw line.

He still had 10 attempts from the charity stripe, but when he only shot 5-of-12 from the floor and finished with 21 total points, it wasn’t enough to overcome the onslaught of the Clippers’ offense.

Blake Griffin has continued to play at an elite level, Jordan has been a rebounding force as always, and the Clippers’ bench keeps on stepping up as the playoffs progress.

So before game five tonight, here’s the five key things we learned from game four.