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."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL players wrote Roger Goodell seeking support for political activism

On the similarities between Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant

Tickets for 49ers-Rams game at Levi's going for $14

Sixers still open to trading Jahlil Okafor

Aaron Rodgers has funny quote on never beating the Bengals

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raul Mondesi sentenced to prison for corruption as mayor in Dominican Republic

WATCH: Youth football coaches engage in ugly brawl

Richard Sherman critical of NFL injury report: It is for gamblers

Adidas hooked Giannis Antetokounmpo up with an entire truck full of sneakers

Carmelo Anthony trade rumors suggest he’s headed to the Rockets soon

John Farrell may use David Price as temporary closer

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

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