Blake Griffin and the red hot Clippers take the floor Wednesday night as the hottest basketball team in Los Angeles, having won their last three games. They host the Rockets at Staples Center in their last game before Christmas.

Clippers Lose At Home Against Rockets, 97-92

The Houston Rockets defeated the hosting Los Angeles Clippers as they defeat the Clippers at the Staples Center, 97-92.

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Martin, Rockets Defeat Clippers

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Kevin Martin finished with 28 points, as the Houston Rockets slipped past the Los Angeles Clippers, 97-92, at Staples Center.

Luis Scola added 22 points for the Rockets, who have won four in a row. Shane Battier provided 13 points, 10 boards and seven assists in the victory.

Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin posted his 17th consecutive double- double with 24 points and 18 rebounds. However, he missed a potential game- tying three in the closing seconds, as Los Angeles had a three-game win streak broken.

The Rockets took an 88-78 lead when Martin drilled a three-pointer with 4:17 to play, but the Clippers rallied and scored the next six points.

Scola followed with a jumper, but at the other end Baron Davis kicked the ball out to the top of the arc for Griffin, who made the trey to bring the Clippers within 90-87 with 58 seconds left.

However, Kyle Lowry answered with a key basket for Houston. He tossed up an off-balance layup while being fouled in the paint, and made it. Though Lowry missed the free throw, the bucket put the Rockets up by two possessions with only 39.7 seconds left.

The Clippers still got a chance to pull even, despite Lowry’s layup making it less likely. Following Griffin’s bank shot, Martin got to the line and made his first attempt. He missed his second shot, though, and Griffin got the rebound.

After a timeout, Al-Farouq Aminu had the ball on the left side of the court and rose for a three-pointer. Scola was whistled for a foul on the shot, and Aminu made all three foul shots to bring LA within 93-92 with 18 seconds to play.

Two Martin free throws later, the Clippers had the ball with the chance to tie. They worked the ball to Griffin on the left wing, but his shot was off the mark, and Houston got possession after the ball went out of bounds. Martin made two foul shots with 1.8 ticks left to seal the victory.

“Tough game, a good win for us,” said Houston head coach Rick Adelman. “They made it interesting at the end, but we held on to get the win.”

Houston built a big lead in the first quarter, only to blow it. Scola’s layup with 4:13 remaining capped a 13-3 run and gave the Rockets a 27-11 advantage. But LA countered with a 15-1 run, and was within 32-28 moving to the second quarter.

The Rockets stretched their lead back to double digits, however, and buckets from Patrick Patterson and Martin in the final 81 seconds gave Houston a 56-43 advantage at the break.

Houston led by as many as 18 in the third quarter, and carried a 74-62 lead to the fourth.

Game Notes

Houston took 29 three-pointers, and made nine…The Clippers shot 40 percent and made 18-of-26 free throws…DeAndre Jordan ended with 14 points and 13 boards for LA, while Eric Gordon added 18 points and six assists.


Clippers Host Rockets Looking To Extend Winning Streak

(Sports Network) - The resurgent Houston Rockets hope to finish a three-game road trip tonight in perfect fashion against a Los Angeles Clippers team that has been much more competitive recently. The Rockets improved to 2-0 on their trek Monday in Oakland when Kevin Martin scored 30 points and pulled down five rebounds as Houston held off the Golden State Warriors, 121-112. Luis Scola added 20 points, nine boards and six assists for the Rockets, who have won three in a row and five of six overall. Shane Battier chipped in 14 points and five assists, while Kyle Lowry had 13 points and eight assists.

"We have been playing better as of late so it's easier to come out here with a little bit of confidence and win these games," said Battier. The Clippers, meanwhile, also won their third straight in the opener of a three-game residency on Monday when Eric Gordon scored 21 of his season-high 36 points in the first half to help Los Angeles earn a 113-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Blake Griffin finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to record his 16th consecutive double-double. Ryan Gomes added a season-high 22 points and pulled down 10 boards for the Clippers, who have won three consecutive games for the first time this season. "I just tried to get it going," Gordon said. "I've struggled the last couple of days. It was our tempo tonight, we created things for ourselves."

On the injury front for the Clippers, forward Craig Smith is expected to miss at least a couple of weeks with a herniated disc in his lower back. LA, which is 6-10 at Staples Center on the year, finishes its homestand against Phoenix the day after Christmas. Houston has won 11 of its past 13 games with the Clips in Hollywood.

For more Clippers news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Clips Nation.

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