A lot of the talk that has been circulating since Wednesday’s Clippers’ loss to the officials, uh, excuse me, to the Rockets, has been about what really was responsible for the Rockets’ win. Did Houston just outplay the Clippers? Did Houston win the game when it was determined that Chris Paul would not play? Did
|Houston win the game years ago when current television contracts were negotiated providing million-dollar-per-game profits for each additional playoff game? Actually, no, the game was decided in a single moment, early in the game: The Houston Rockets won game two two-and-one-half minuted into the game, when referees ignored Deee-Wight Howard pushing DeAndre Jordan in the back, forcing him into Trevor Ariza, calling a personal foul not on||
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Jordan did not play again in the first quarter, during which time the Clippers’ early 6-2 lead turned into a 35-24 deficit, a 15 point turnaround. THAT decided the game, and despite all else, was the reason that the series is now tied 1-1, rather than the Clippers now having a 2-0 lead.
While he did get to play, Jordan was fantastic, thoroughly outplaying Deee-Wight, and scoring 16 points on six-of-six shooting with 12 rebounds, plus two blocks and two steals, in only 25 minutes on the court.
Despite Jordan missing 23 game minutes, and Paul all 48, the Clippers’ defense was still exceptional, even despite James Harden lighting up the court for 32, but that included 15 of 15 on free throws. The Rockets attempted more three-point shots this past season than any NBA team ever before, despite shooting only 34.8%, 14th in the league, but on Wednesday, they hit a season low five three-pointers, on 26 attempts, for 19.2%.
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|The great Clippers' team defense was also helped out in game two by some unexpected and excellent minutes from recent acquisition Lester Hudson, who in 11 minutes had a blocked shot, one steal - though it should have been two as he made his second steal just as hack-a-Deee-Wight was stopping play - and he also hit on two of three shot attempts. Hudson played in only five regular season games for the Clippers, but if Paul misses tonight's game, he has earned more of|
The Clippers need to concentrate on the game, continue their tight team defense, give the ball to Blake Griffin on offense, and let Jordan hand the defensive battle against Deee-Wight, and if they can mix in a little Chris Paul, go up two-to-one tonight