Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/15/13
HOUSTON -- While Chris Paul is unquestionably an MVP candidate, the Los Angeles Clippers performed exceptionally without him for a second consecutive night, rolling past the Houston Rockets 117-109 Tuesday at Toyota Center. Reserve guard Jamal Crawford poured in 30 points in just 28 minutes as the Clippers (30-9) matched the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder in victories. Los Angeles' bench again struck the decisive blow, sparking the rally that shifted momentum to the Clippers for good. After the Rockets (21-18) shook off a sluggish start to the second quarter with a sudden 13-4 burst, Crawford and reserve forward Matt Barnes scored nine consecutive points to cut the Rockets' 52-45 lead to three points. Backup point guard Eric Bledsoe, starting in place of Paul, who has a bruised right kneecap, closed the second quarter with four successive points to set the stage for the Clippers' runaway third period. The Clippers opened the third with a 10-0 run as Blake Griffin and Bledsoe combined for eight points during that spurt. Willie Green chimed in with 11 points over the ensuing four minutes, including a three-point play at the heart of another 10-0 run that built the Clippers' lead to 83-65 on a Bledsoe layup with 5:30 remaining in the quarter. One night after throttling the Grizzlies 99-73 in Memphis, the Clippers received 54 points from their ballyhooed bench. Their starters weren't bad either, with Bledsoe, Griffin and Green combining for 53 points. The Rockets dropped their fourth consecutive game and had their three-game home court winning streak snapped. James Harden led Houston with 23 points, while Jeremy Lin had a double-double (12 points, 10 assists). Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris totaled 28 points off the bench. Miserable shooting doomed the Rockets both from the free-throw line, where they shot 14-for-25, and from behind the 3-point arc, where they went 13-for-37. The Clippers, meanwhile, hit 22 of 26 free throws and 11 of 19 3-pointers. NOTES: Clippers forward Grant Hill, 40, became the 20th active player with 1,000 games played. Hill, whose career has included stops in Detroit, Orlando, and Phoenix, made his Clippers debut on Jan. 12. He scored four points in 16 minutes Tuesday. ... Bledsoe made his first start of the season Monday, posting 14 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals against the Grizzlies. "I thought he was solid throughout," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I thought his pace was good; he had no turnovers. I thought he got us into our sets when he needed to. I thought he had a nice command of his own game, which really helped settle us down when we needed to." ... Paced by veterans Crawford, Barnes and Lamar Odom, the Clippers' bench is arguably the most versatile in the league. "They've got a nice blend of youth and veterans," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "And they're deep."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

Vikings installing massive horn in new stadium

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker