Every time Dwight Howard touched the ball Monday night in Los Angeles, he was booed lustily. What makes that interesting beyond words is that Howard and the Houston Rockets were facing the Los Angeles Clippers and not the Los Angeles team that Howard actually played for last season. The fans were on Howard all night long as the Clippers enjoyed a huge victory against what they expect to be a Western Conference rival for years to come.
Chris Paul would continue to put up MVP-type numbers, scoring 23 points while handing out 17 assists and recording 2 steals. J.J. Redick would have his best scoring night as a Clipper with 26 points, Jamal Crawford – who moved into 15th all-time in three-pointers made list during the game – would add 21 points and Blake Griffin would have another solid night as helped keep Howard – who only played 26 minutes – in foul trouble throughout the game.
The Clippers are once again proving that they can hold on to big leads as the Rockets made several charges throughout the game to cut the lead to less than 10 points. While their defense needs to be worked out – they have yet to hold a team to under 100 points this season – Paul has been able to keep the Clippers from giving up those leads by making big plays that kept the team on point. After the Rockets made one last run during the fourth quarter, the Clippers went into full-on Lob City mode with Paul sealing the game with two alley-oop passes to DeAndre Jordan and Griffin.
- The Clippers will be going on a three game road trip that starts against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, followed by the Miami Heat on Thursday and then they play the Rockets again on Saturday night
- The 78 points the Clippers scored in the first half tied a Clipper record that was set on March 13, 1998 against the Toronto Raptors while their 137 point total was the most they had scored in four years (140 against the New York Knicks back in 2009)
- Prime Ticket, the local cable sports channel that carries the Clipper games actually televised the player introduction just so viewers could see the audience’s reaction to Dwight Howard being introduced
- Howard would finish the game with 13 points and 9 rebounds in 26 minutes, while fellow superstar teammate James Harden struggled with 15 points
- For whatever its worth, Clippers announcers Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith would reference Howard’s unhappy year with the Lakers several times during the broadcast, mentioning that they heard stories all throughout the year of Howard being frustrated in Los Angeles but choosing not to mention it on the air
- Sneaker Report: Blake Griffin in two colorways of the Jordan Super.Fly 2, Chris Paul had a new colorway of the Jordan CP3.VII, James Harden had a Nike Zoom Crusader player exclusive and Dwight Howard rocked a road colorway of the adidas D Howard 4
Statistics courtesy of Clippers.com and ESPN.com.
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