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

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The Austin Rivers show

May 8, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) controls the ball against the Houston Rockets during the second half in game three of the second round of the NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Rivers may not have had the most prolific regular season — with 7.1 points a game, 1.7 assists and 42.7 percent shooting — but so far, the postseason has been his coming out party.

His play in game four wasn’t quite as remarkable to watch, although he still finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and shot 5-of-9 from the floor.

During the regular season, Rivers recorded a career best 63.4 percent shooting mark from within three feet (8.6 percent better than the previous year). Now, as he continues to impress during the playoffs, that percentage has risen ever so slightly to 66.7.

His new found efficiency at the rim is a welcome improvement, and despite the imposing figure of Dwight Howard lurking in the paint, Rivers has thrown himself towards the basket — often coming out with a basket.

He converted two tough and-one layups in a late third quarter surge in game three, and yet again in game four he went at the Rockets’ interior defense with just as much confidence.

After his 25 point, 76.9 percent shooting night in game three, Rivers has now averaged 16 points per game this series with a field goal percentage of 55.8.

If he can continue to replicate these kinds of performances and maintain such good efficiency, the added depth he provides alongside Jamal Crawford on the bench will be incredibly valuable to the Clippers as they continue their run to the Western Conference finals.