Jordan pushes Clippers closer to first Western final
CHICAGO – Center DeAndre Jordan’s double-double led the Los Angeles Clippers to the brink of a first Western Conference final with a 128-95 win over the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center on Sunday.
With 26 points and 17 rebounds, Jordan was one of six Los Angeles players in double figures as the Clippers took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series ahead of Game Five at the Toyota Center in Houston on Tuesday.
Forward Blake Griffin poured in 21 points and eight rebounds, shooting guard J.J. Redick scored 18 while point guard Chris Paul finished with 15 points and 12 assists.
Guard James Harden led Houston with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The Clippers held a six-point advantage at halftime, but opened up the lead in third quarter with a 21-4 run for an 81-58 cushion after back-to-back lobs from Paul to Jordan midway through the quarter.
The Rockets continued with their ploy to intentionally send Jordan to the foul line. They started their strategy less than four minutes into the contest and continued to hack Jordan until the end of the second quarter.
Jordan made only 10 of 28 foul shot attempts in the first half and 14 of 34 overall.
His 28 first-half attempts were the most in a half of a playoff game for a Clippers player, breaking the record set by Doc Rivers, now the team’s coach, against the Utah Jazz in 1992.
Jordan also broke his own mark of 17 attempts in a game, recorded in last year’s first-round series against the Golden State Warriors. – Reuters