NBA-Rockets 4-3 reversing the Clippers to the Western Conference finals 18 years later

NBA-Rockets4-3reversetheClipperstotheWesternConferencefinals18yearslater
TheHoustonRockets(56winsand26losses)wonthetie-breakathomeintheWesternConferencefinals.Hardenscored31points,8assistsand7rebounds,Arizascored22points,Howardsentadouble-double,theyplayedtheteamgraduallyopenedthescoreadvantageinthefirstthreequarters,theRocketswithstoodtheopponent’slastquartercounterattack,theyareintheWestIntheseventhroundofthesemi-finals,theydefeatedtheLosAngelesClippers113-100athome(56winsand26losses).TheRocketseliminatedtheClippersby4-3toadvancetotheWesternConferencefinals.Theybecametheninthteaminhistorytoachieveareversalwhentheyfellbehind1-3.TheywillcompetewiththeGoldenStateWarriorsfortheWesternChampionship.HardenbroketheRocketsHardenhad31points,8assists,7rebounds,3stealsand7turnovers,Arizahad22pointsand7rebounds,Howardhad16pointsand15rebounds,Smithhad15Points,Brewerscored11points,Jonesscored8points.TheClippers’Griffinscored27points,11reboundsand6assists,Paulscored26points,10assists,5rebounds,4stealsand4turnovers,Crawfordscored17points,JordanscoredWith16points,17rebounds,4stealsand3repetitions,Redickscored10points,6reboundsand6turnovers.  Thetwoteamscompetedfiercelyafterthestartofthematch.Thetwosidesscored7draws.Hardenscored7pointstohelptheteamlead.PaulandGriffinapproachedwith6points,Joneshitajumper,Hardenmaintainedanoffensiveconsecutive5points,andtheRocketsled22-13with3minutesinthefirstquarter.Thetwosidesthenscoredafewpointseach.CrawfordhitahittingbuzzerandtheClipperstrailed7points21-28.Hardenscored12pointsinasinglequarter.  Howardtookoverthepostafterthestartofthesecondquarter,andmadetwolayups.Onepersonscored5pointsinarow.OfthethreepointsBrewermade,theRocketsled15pointswith36-21.Crawfordfeelsgood,hittingtwothree-pointers,onepersonscored8points,theClippersnarrowedthegapto10points.Arizahitathree-pointer,Redickmadeathree-pointer,Jordanemptydunk,theClipperstrailed40-483minutesand55secondsbeforehalftime.Afterthetwoteamseachscored6points,Howardemptydunksucceeded,thehalf-timestrikeRocketslead56-4610pointsintothehalf-timebreak.  TheRockets’Howardhad12pointsand11reboundsinthefirsthalf,Hardenhad12pointsand5assists;theClippersGriffinhad12pointsand6rebounds,PaulandCrawfordeachhad10points.  Paulstrengthenedhispersonaloffenseafterthestartofthethirdquarter.Hescored5pointsandtheClipperschased53-59.SmithmadeonefreethrowandtheClipperspulled4consecutivepointstonarrowthegaptoonly3points,McHaleimmediatelysuspended.Hardenbrokethroughthedunkafterthetimeout.Smithmadea3-pointerandtheRocketscounteredtheopponent6-0tostabilizethesituation.Inthefollowinggame,thetwoteamseachscoredseveraloffenses.Crawfordmadeathree-pointer,buttheymadeconsecutivemistakes.Arizacountered5pointsandtheteamplayeda11-2offensiveclimaxtoendthethirdquarter.TheRocketslead17points85-68.  Howardsuccessfullyopenedthefourthquarterwith3points.Paulmadetwojumpers,Griffinmadealayup,andtheClippersretreated74-90.Hardenmadetwofreethrows,Paulalsomadeafoulandmadetwofreethrows.Ariza’sright-wingthree-pointer,Paulquicklyrespondedtothethree-pointer,with6minutesand40secondsinthefourthquarter,theRocketsled16pointswith97-81.Afterwards,theClippersworkedhardtocounterattack.Jordandunkedthreetimes.Griffinscored3points.Theyledtheteamtoplaya11-3counterattack.Inthefourthquarter,theClipperschased92-102with2minutesand25seconds.  AftertheRocketspaused,Harden’spassingerror,Griffinfast-breakdunk,HardencausedRedickfouledtwogoals,theRocketslead10points.JordandunkedsuccessfullyandcausedJonestofoulandmissedafreethrow.PaulfouledHowardforareboundandmissedtwofreethrows.TheClippers,whotrailedby8points,requestedatimeoutwhentherewas1minute25secondsinthefourthquarter.Redickmissedathree-pointer,Arizamadeathree-pointerfromthetopcornerandhad55inthefourthquarter.At8seconds,theRocketsled107-96.Hardenmadetwofreethrows,Crawfordmissedathree-pointer,Arizamadetwofreethrows,theRocketsled111-98.AtthispointtheClippersareunabletomakeacomeback,theylost100-113.  Clippersstartingmoments:Paul,Redick,Barnes,Griffin,JordanRocketsstartingmoments:Terry,Harden,Ariza,Smith,Howard