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

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

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

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

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