National Basketball Association
L.A. Clippers 120, Houston 105
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 5, 2020
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
#71 Rodney Mott, #38 Michael Smith, #8 Marc Davis
Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points, Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell posted double-doubles, and the visiting Los Angeles Clippers drubbed the Houston Rockets, 120-105, on Thursday night.
The Clippers extended their winning streak to six consecutive games and, perhaps of greater significance, squared the season series with Houston at two games apiece. The Clippers own the superior record within the Western Conference should the teams finish tied in the standings.
Leonard added six rebounds, five assists and two steals in just 28 minutes while Zubac (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Harrell (19 points, 10 rebounds) punished the smaller Rockets inside. Paul George (13 points) and Marcus Morris Sr. (11 points) added to the Clippers onslaught.
Russell Westbrook paired 29 points with 15 rebounds while James Harden scored 16 points on 4-of-17 shooting for Houston, which trailed by as many as 30 points and led only once at 4-2.
Leading 27-23 late in the first quarter, the Clippers floored Houston with a pair of dominating runs, the first sparked by their second unit.
Reserve guard Reggie Jackson ignited the initial rally with a corner 3 and later added a layup in transition. In between, the Clippers recorded seven consecutive free throws before Harrell scored at the rim for only the second basket of a 12-0 blitz.
The Clippers extended their run to 16-5 with two more Harrell free throws for a 43-28 lead, and before the Rockets could muster a legitimate response, the Clippers buried them for good.
Leonard drilled a 3-pointer, Zubac made a hook shot and Morris hit a pair of treys. When Zubac followed another Leonard trey with a cutting dunk, the Clippers led 65-39 with 3:18 remaining in the half.
The Clippers shot a robust 52.4 percent in the first half, including 8 of 18 from behind the arc. Leonard (17 points), Zubac (14), Morris (11) and Harrell (10) all scored in double figures prior to the intermission, charging the Rockets with too many options to flank with their switching defense.
The Rockets, meanwhile, went ice cold from deep. Jeff Green sank the 3 that pulled Houston to within four points at the 1:30 mark of the opening period. Houston closed the half by missing the ensuing 12 3-point attempts and extended that stretch to 20 consecutive misses before Eric Gordon converted from deep with 1:57 left in the third to cut the deficit to 86-61.
The Rockets finished 7 for 42 on 3s en route to their second consecutive loss after winning 10 of 12 games.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Kawhi Leonard 25
Russell Westbrook 29
Paul George 7
Russell Westbrook 5
Ivica Zubac 12
Russell Westbrook 15
Montrezl Harrell 9
||Free Throws Made
James Harden 8
Patrick Beverley 2
Robert Covington 1
Montrezl Harrell 2
Robert Covington 2
Team Stats Summary
Houston will play their next game on the road against Charlotte. The Rockets have a W/L % of .650 after a win and .619 after a loss.
L.A. Clippers will play their next game at home against L.A. Lakers. The Clippers have a W/L % of .619 after a win and .850 after a loss.