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NBA LA CLIPPERS 33 HOUSTON 50 2:55 LEFT, 2ND QTR 9:28PM ET


LA CLIPPERS (97) AT HOUSTON (107)

LA CLIPPERS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

MURRAY F 38 7-18 2-2 5 7 12 2 2 2 2 17 ROGERS F 41 11-23 0-0 2 5 7 3 1 4 1 27 AUSTIN C 37 6-15 4-4 7 5 12 5 2 0 4 16 PIATKOWSKI G 29 2-7 0-0 1 4 5 5 2 1 2 5 MARTIN G 39 4-12 4-5 0 2 2 3 4 1 1 13 TAYLOR 14 4-10 2-2 2 0 2 1 4 0 1 10 VRANKOVIC 13 0-0 0-2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 ROBINSON 18 1-6 1-1 1 0 1 3 2 0 1 4 RICHARDSON 9 2-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 5 COLLINS 1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 SMITH 1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 CLOSS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 37-94 13-17 18 24 42 25 20 8 12 97 (.394) (.765) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 13(17 PTS)

HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

BULLARD F 16 1-3 0-0 1 3 4 0 1 0 1 3 WILLIS F 32 9-15 3-3 2 5 7 1 4 4 0 21 OLAJUWON C 42 8-17 2-4 3 12 15 5 5 0 3 18 DREXLER G 43 5-9 13-13 0 2 2 11 0 1 6 24 MALONEY G 23 2-6 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 1 2 5 BARKLEY 3 0-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 ELIE 12 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 PRICE 25 3-8 3-3 0 0 0 6 2 1 0 10 HARRINGTON 19 4-7 0-0 1 1 2 1 4 0 2 8 JOHNSON 25 7-10 0-0 0 5 5 1 1 1 0 16 DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION RHODES DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-77 23-25 8 30 38 29 17 9 14 107 (.506) (.920) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 14(15 PTS)

LA CLIPPERS 22 24 28 23 - 97 HOUSTON 28 28 19 32 - 107

BLOCKED SHOTS: LA CLIPPERS - AUSTIN. HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 2, DREXLER 2, BULLARD, MALONEY, HARRINGTON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: LA CLIPPERS 10-25 (.400), MURRAY 1-4, ROGERS 5-9, PIATKOWSKI 1-3, MARTIN 1-5, ROBINSON 1-3, RICHARDSON 1-1. HOUSTON 6-19 (.316), BULLARD 1-2, DREXLER 1-2, MALONEY 1-5, PRICE 1-5, JOHNSON 2-5. TECHNICALS: LA CLIPPERS - HOU, HOUSTON - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2, BARKLEY 2 (EJECTED), OLAJUWON. OFFICIALS: DAVID JONES, KEVIN FEHR, RONNIE NUNN. A - 16,285. T - 2:03.


LA CLIPPERS (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Murray 38 7-18 2-2 5-12 2 2 17 Rogers 41 11-23 0-0 2-7 3 1 27 Austin 37 6-15 4-4 7-12 5 2 16 Piatkowski 29 2-7 0-0 1-5 5 2 5 Martin 39 4-12 4-5 0-2 3 4 13 Taylor 14 4-10 2-2 2-2 1 4 10 Vrankovic 13 0-0 0-2 0-1 0 1 0 Robinson 18 1-6 1-1 1-1 3 2 4 Richardson 9 2-2 0-0 0-0 2 1 5 Collins 1 0-0 0-1 0-0 1 0 0 Smith 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Closs DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-94 13-17 18-42 25 20 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.394, FT-.765. 3-Point Goals: 10-25, .400 (Murray 1-4, Rogers 5-9, Piatkowski 1-3, Martin 1-5, Robinson 1-3, Richardson 1-1). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 1 (Austin). Turnovers: 13 (Austin 4, Murray 2, Piatkowski 2, Martin, Robinson, Rogers, Taylor). Steals: 8 (Rogers 4, Murray 2, Martin, Piatkowski).

HOUSTON (107) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bullard 16 1-3 0-0 1-4 0 1 3 Willis 32 9-15 3-3 2-7 1 4 21 Olajuwon 42 8-17 2-4 3-15 5 5 18 Drexler 43 5-9 13-13 0-2 11 0 24 Maloney 23 2-6 0-0 0-1 2 0 5 Barkley 3 0-1 2-2 0-0 0 0 2 Elie 12 0-1 0-0 1-2 2 0 0 Price 25 3-8 3-3 0-0 6 2 10 Harrington 19 4-7 0-0 1-2 1 4 8 Johnson 25 7-10 0-0 0-5 1 1 16 Davis DNP - coach's decision Rhodes DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-77 23-25 8-38 29 17 107 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.506, FT-.920. 3-Point Goals: 6-19, .316 (Bullard 1-2, Drexler 1-2, Maloney 1-5, Price 1-5, Johnson 2-5). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 7 (Olajuwon 2, Drexler 2, Bullard, Maloney, Harrington). Turnovers: 14 (Drexler 6, Olajuwon 3, Harrington 2, Maloney 2, Bullard). Steals: 9 (Willis 4, Barkley, Drexler, Johnson, Maloney, Price). ____________________________________________ La Clippers 22 24 28 23 - 97 Houston 28 28 19 32 - 107 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: La Clippers 1 (Hou, 0:20 1st). Houston 5 (Illegal Defense 2, 6:25 1st, 2:21 2nd; Barkley 2 (ejected), 0:41 1st, 0:41 1st; Olajuwon, 1:01 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,285. T: 2:03. Officials: David Jones, Kevin Fehr, Ronnie Nunn.


GAME RECAP

Clyde Drexler had 24 points and 11 assists and Hakeem Olajuwon added 18 points and 15 rebounds while surpassing the team record for games played as the Houston Rockets continued their dominance of the Los Angeles Clippers with a 107-97 victory.

Drexler made all 13 of his free throws and the Rockets went 23-for-25 from the line in beating the Clippers for the 21st time in the last 23 meetings. Olajuwon played in his 1,003rd game as a Rocket, moving past Calvin Murphy for the franchise record. Olajuwon and Murphy are among eight players who have played 1,000 games with one team.

"This was a big accomplishment," Olajuwon said. "I'm glad that we beat the team that we played on the night of the record. It's even more special because it was against Bill Fitch's team and he was my first coach."

Kevin Willis contributed 21 points and seven rebounds and Eddie Johnson scored 16 points to move within three of 19,000 for his career, helping Houston sweep the four-game series from Los Angeles for the fourth time in six seasons.

Rodney Rogers scored 27 points to pace the Clippers, who opened a four-game road trip by losing for the ninth time in their last 10 outings. Lamond Murray had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Isaac Austin added 16 and 12 but could not prevent Los Angeles from losing for the 21st time in 22 trips to Houston.

Despite not playing since a loss to Phoenix on Friday, the Clippers, who rank last in the league in scoring defense, allowed over 100 points for the ninth time in their last 11 games.

Houston won for just the second time in six games despite playing most of the contest without Charles Barkley. The volatile forward was ejected with 41 seconds to go in the first quarter after picking up two technical fouls for arguing with officials. He had two free throws and no rebounds in just three minutes off the bench.

Los Angeles trailed through much of the contest but pulled within 75-74 heading into the fourth quarter on Murray's dunk. But Houston quickly dashed the hopes of a comeback by opening the final period with a 12-4 run.

After Johnson's 15-footer sparked that spurt, Drexler later hit three free throws after getting fouled on a three-pointer to increase the advantage to 82-76. Brent Price eventually capped the surge with a three-point play, building the lead to 87-78 with 8:44 to play.

A long jumper by Maurice Taylor trimmed the deficit to 87-82, but Houston answered with a 12-5 burst. Drexler had four foul shots during that stretch before Willis closed it with a 16-footer and a short hook, creating a 99-87 cushion with 4:02 remaining.

Two free throws by Austin made it 99-91 with 2:44 left, but Johnson responded with a back-breaking three-pointer to help secure the victory.

"We wasted that third-quarter comeback for naught," Fitch said. "We got it to even at the end of the third. The big thing was that we had very costly turnovers and our shooting percentage tonight isn't going to win us many games."

The Clippers shot 39 percent (37-of-94) from the field while the Rockets made 51 percent (39-of-77).

Houston led 28-22 after one quarter and reeled off nine straight points midway through the second period to take control. Johnson had a three-pointer and a long jumper during that run, which was capped by Olajuwon's dunk with 3:15 remaining for a 50-33 lead.

Los Angeles cut it to 56-46 at halftime and opened the third quarter with a 12-2 spurt to knot the score. Eric Piatkowski scored five points during that stretch before Murray's layup forged a 58-58 tie with 8:04 to go.

"I think we knew what got us in trouble in the third quarter. They got a lot of layups in that period," Johnson explained. "We were expecting them to make a run at us the whole game. We have a lot of respect for them. We held on tight in the fourth quarter and that won us the game."

But the Rockets took the lead for good with a 7-0 spurt. Matt Maloney drained a three-pointer to snap a 62-62 tie and, after Willis hit a hook shot, made a running jumper to cap the run with 5:20 left.

"We were playing good basketball and then all of a sudden Houston got a couple of fast breaks and Maloney hit a big three-pointer," Murray said. "From then on, we were fighting back and we ran out of time."

Johnson led a big effort from Houston's bench, which outscored the Clippers' reserves, 36-19. Price and Othella Harrington came off Houston's bench for 10 and eight points, respectively.

"All the games are big now and we gutted this one out," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We did a good job offensively and we made some big defensive plays down the stretch. We got a great game from our bench. Brent, Othella and Eddie Johnson all gave us a big lift."

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