Griffin leads Clippers over Rockets 102-85
HOUSTON (AP) -- Blake Griffin had 30 points and 10 rebounds and Jamal Crawford added 21 points to help the Los Angeles Clippers coast to a 102-85 win over the injury-depleted Houston Rockets on Friday night.
The Rockets were playing their fifth straight game without Dwight Howard (knee strain) and were also missing two other starters.
The Clippers took the lead at the end of the first quarter and didn't trail again. Houston got within 10 points early in the third, but a run by Los Angeles pushed the lead to 18.
An alley-oop dunk by DeAndre Jordan made it 94-73 with about six minutes remaining and the starters went to the bench soon after that.
James Harden had 16 points to lead Houston.
It's the third straight win for the Clippers and they've won 10 of their last 11 over the Rockets.
J.J. Redick added 15 points and Chris Paul had 10 points and seven assists for Los Angeles.
Already playing without starting point guard Patrick Beverley, the Rockets lost Isaiah Canaan with a sprained left ankle in the second quarter and he didn't return. With both players out, Houston had to rely on the 37-year-old Jason Terry for the rest of the game.
Canaan finished with 13 points and rookie Tarik Black, who was filling in for Howard, had 11 points and nine rebounds.
The Clippers led by 10 early in the third quarter before using a 10-2 run to extend their advantage to 68-50. Paul and Redick both made 3-pointers in that span.
Crawford scattered cheers from the home crowd when he sunk a long 3-pointer as he fell to the ground late in the third quarter. He was fouled on the play and hit the free throw to push L.A.'s lead to 83-65. He had four 3-pointers.
The Clippers scored the last seven points of the first quarter to take a 26-24 lead. They used a 9-1 run at the beginning of the second to push the lead to 37-25 about nine minutes before halftime. Houston used an 11-5 spurt, powered by three 3-pointers, after that to cut the lead to 42-36.
Jordan had a two-handed dunk late in the second quarter before Terry was called for a flagrant 1 foul for hitting Griffin in the face on his way to the basket. He made both free throws to push Los Angeles to a 56-44 lead at halftime.
Clippers: Matt Barnes returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two games with a sore left calf. ... Guard Chris Douglas-Roberts remains out with a strained right Achilles.
Rockets: F Terrence Jones missed his 12th straight game with nerve damage in his left leg. ... Beverley was out for a third consecutive game with a strained left hamstring.
Clippers: At Utah on Saturday.
Rockets: At Milwaukee on Saturday.