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Rockets crash at home

Afp/Dpa
Saturday, February 16, 2013

LOS ANGELES, California - The Los Angeles Clippers set the tone with a 46-point first quarter and rolled to a 106-96 NBA home victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Caron Butler scored 17 of his 19 points in the first quarter, when the Clippers shot a blistering 77.3 per cent from the field.

They led 46-28 after one period and were up 69-49 at halftime.

The Rockets played without their injured leading scorer James Harden.

Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Butler and Chauncey Billups added 19 apiece as the Clippers won their third straight game - their first home contest after an eight-game road trip.

Chandler Parsons scored 17 points for the Rockets, who managed 14 points each from Jeremy Lin and James Anderson.

"Obviously we got out to a nice start," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "It was a big first quarter for us. I thought that we jumped on them early."

Lin, who had one wrist taped after a spill during the first quarter, said the Rockets just did not do enough.

"They were on fire and we didn't do a good job of making it difficult," he said. "We just didn't make it uncomfortable for them."

The Rockets do not play again until after this weekend's All-Star game that will be held at their arena in Houston on Sunday.

Elsewhere, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard connected on a wide-open three-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining, giving the Spurs a 96-95 road victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers for their 14th win in 15 games.

Alan Anderson came off the bench to toss in 26 points, DeMar Rozen added 20 and the Toronto Raptors shut down Carmelo Anthony for their fourth straight victory, 92-88 over New York - the Knicks' third loss in four games.


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