L.A. Clippers 94, Houston 83
HOUSTON, Dec. 14 (Ticker) -- Andre Miller
and Elton Brand
27 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 94-83 victory
over the Houston Rockets.
NBA TV highlights from|
Brand scored 15 points in the first half, when the Clippers shot
57 percent (24-of-42) from the field and opened a 54-45 lead.
The Rockets never got closer than four points in the second
The Clippers led by as many as 16 points after a 21-8 run in the
first half. Wang Zhizhi
scored five of his eight points during
the spurt, including a 3-pointer.
"Those two guys played on the national team together," Clippers
coach Alvin Gentry said of Wang and Rockets rookie center Yao
. "Whenever you're playing against someone who's been a
teammate, there's a little incentive to play well. The 3-pointer
loosened him up and he made some good moves to the basket."
Houston shot 54 percent (20-of-37) in the first half but slumped
to 32.5 percent (13-of-40) shooting after intermission. Yao,
who scored 12 points in the first half on 4-of-5 shooting,
scored only four points in the second half, making 1-of-4 shots.
"(Wang) told us about (Yao's) two best moves and his head
fakes," Gentry said. "I think we were as prepared as anyone's
been to play Yao."
In the teams' first meeting, a 90-89 victory by the Clippers on
November 24, Yao scored only four points.
Yao grabbed nine rebounds, but Houston was outrebounded, 44-36.
The Clippers got 16 boards from Brand and 10 from Michael
"They came in here and were more physical than we were," Rockets
coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "They wore us down, they hurt us
on the boards and they got more shots than we did."
The Rockets lost for just the second time at home this season.
Los Angeles has won three of five games in Houston after winning
only twice in 31 tries there.
"We came out flat, big-time," said guard Cuttino Mobley
, who led
the Rockets with 19 points. "You're supposed to come out with
some kind of incentive. They beat us at their place and now
they're 2-0 against us and that shouldn't be."
The Clippers have won five straight games against the Rockets.
Los Angeles finished a tough four-game road trip that also
included visits to New Orleans, Dallas and San Antonio with two