LA Clippers earn a victory against the Houston Rockets

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 2: Austin Rivers
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 2: Austin Rivers /

With an emphasis on the word “earn”, the LA Clippers left the Toyota Center with the win against a red-hot James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Here’s the breakdown.

Despite Teodosic, Johnson, Griffin, Beverley, and Gallinari sitting out, the LA Clippers overcame the odds for a 128-118 victory. Both the Rockets and the Clippers lived and died by the three-ball, with LA going 18/42 and Houston going 17/40. The Rockets were without Chris Paul and Clint Capella, but were still the favored team by far (and with good reason). This will go down as a disappointing loss for Houston and a momentum push for Los Angeles.

RIvers was the clear MVP 

Austin achieved his second 30+ point game of the season, snapping his 32-point career high for a new 36-point record. His 39-minute load was just right, as he looked both comfortable and confident as ever, racking up 7 assists to go with his scoring load. Rivers proved his ability to make the smart play in the clutch as he called for an iso against Harden and drove to the rack for a foul. He earned the post-game interview on court and took the time to promote rookie Jawun Evans along with his respective contributions to the victory.

Lou Williams and DeAndre Jordan brought their A-game as well

Similar to Austin Rivers, Williams played 39 minutes for 7 assists and 32 points. The three’s he knocked down were as absurd as Rivers’, and the fact that they combined for 68 points is an impressive feat for this backcourt duo. DeAndre Jordan pitched in for the victory with a quiet 15 points and 20 rebounds. The Rockets tried to hack him during the final minutes, but the act of desperation was belittled when he hit both free throws.

James Harden cried all the way to the locker room 

Despite becoming the first player since Kobe Bryant to drop 50 back-to-back, Harden left the court with a frown in the fourth. He wasn’t put on the bench, rather ejected for knocking the ball out of the referee’s hands from his own frustration. Harden had every Clippers fan on the edge of their seats as they watched their team try to hold onto their fourth-quarter lead. The MVP candidate is walking proof that basketball is a team sport. No matter how many points you grab, if the other team is playing better than yours, you’re in trouble. “The Beard” probably didn’t expect to lose to the Clippers, but sorry, we are not sorry.