Houston Rockets Beat Clippers: James Harden Scores 46 & Howard Records 20-20


Houston Rockets arrived in Los Angeles having played in Sacramento Friday while the Los Angeles Clippers had been resting since Wednesday following their loss to the Warriors. In the end the H & H show was too much for the Clippers to overcome as the Rockets won their fourth in a row and move over .500 for the first time this season.

169. 105. 77. . 109

Game Notes

Though Houston has had their injury woes (especially in the front court) the Clippers were down a man, rather they were down “the man” with Chris Paul out due to a slightly strained groin. His replacement was head coach Doc River’s son Austin Rivers who is a far cry from CP3.

James Harden and Dwight Howard  both came out to play this evening as they were the main reason the Rockets tied the game after the first quarter. Harden scored 18 points in the frame while Howard had 8 points and 8 rebounds. Blake Griffin carried the scoring load for the Clippers with 13 points while J.J. Redick added 9.

Though the Clippers took ten point leads multiple times in the 2nd, the Rockets continually mounted comebacks taking advantage of Rivers whenever he was on the floor. By the end of half the Clippers lead was cut to two (58-56).

By the end of the third quarter Harden had 40 points and the Rockets were leading 83-78.

Leaders At the Half:

Points: Harden 25

Rebounds: Howard – 12

Assists: Griffin -3

Team Comparison at Half:


  • FG% – 46.8%
  • 3-point FG% – 21.4% (3 of 14)
  • Free Throws – 100% (9 of 9)
  • Rebounds – 24 (5 offensive)
  • Assists: 8
  • Steals – 2
  • Blocks – 2
  • Turnovers – 8
  • Points off turnovers – 11
  • Fast Break Points – 14
  • Points in the Paint: 32


  • FG% – 47.1%
  • 3-point FG% – 9.1% (1 of 11)
  • Free Throws – 75% (9 of 12)
  • Rebounds – 24 (8 offensive)
  • Assists: 17
  • Steals – 6
  • Blocks – 4
  • Turnovers – 4
  • Points off turnovers – 2
  • Fast Break Points – 8
  • Points in the Paint: 34

Rockets Grades:

James Harden  The bearded man had an incredible night scoring 25 in the first half, had 40 by the end of the third and finished with 46 points (along with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal).  More importantly he looked like the player of last season especially in terms of his shooting percentages with 53.8% from the field, 50% from 3 and 92.8% from the line (13 of 14). He added  GRADE: A+

Dwight Howard The decision to rest Howard versus Sacramento turned out to be a very wise decision as he was active registering a 20-20 game with 20 rebounds (7 offensive) and 20 points as well as 3 assists and a block. GRADE: A+

Marcus Thornton  Continues to look like the steal of the free agent season as he seamlessly fits the Rockets system. Given he’s playing out of position what he’s accomplishing is well beyond what many expected. On this night he registered 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Imagine once the Rockets get a power forward back to play consistent minutes what Thornton will bring off the bench! Grade A-

Trevor Ariza  You can’t measure how effective Ariza is unless you look at what he does off the stat sheet. The fact he’s matched up against Blake Griffin was a task all on it’s own but he still managed to add 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. GRADE B+

Ty Lawson  Every game out Lawson looks more comfortable. The coming 3 days off to practice will be the most welcome by Ty. Statistically he had a quiet night (6 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal), but his speed and presence on the court opened lanes for his teammates. He hit 2 huge free throws to make it a 2 point possession with 13 seconds remaining. GRADE B

Clint Capela:  The young Swiss center continues to provide solid back up minutes scoring 9 points, grabbing 8 boards and adding a block (see 3 things we heard and saw). B+

James Harden has 44 points. Career high is 51. Rockets leading in 4th (via @HoustonRockets): https://t.co/OsQZZdRLRn https://t.co/uqpDcpM1ZW

— SI NBA (@si_nba) November 8, 2015

Clippers Notables:

Blake Griffin:  Griffin had a solid night which was over shadowed by Harden’s night. He scored 35 points, grabbed  11 rebounds and had 5 assists.

JJ Redick was also strong with 19 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal

Josh Smith  The ex Rocket had 10 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists

Final Game Stats:


  • FG% – 44.2%
  • 3-point FG% – 23.3% (7 of 30)
  • Free Throws – 89.7% (26 of 29)
  • Rebounds – 47 (11 offensive)
  • Assists: 16
  • Steals – 7
  • Blocks – 3
  • Turnovers – 14 (a notable improvement though ironically Harden and Howard accounted for 12 of them)
  • Points off turnovers – 20
  • Fast Break Points – 22
  • Points in the Paint: 54


  • FG% – 47.7https://twitter.com/si_nba/status/663228463332139008%
  • 3-point FG% – 18.2% (4 of 22)
  • Free Throws – 68% (17 of 25)
  • Rebounds – 41 (11 offensive)
  • Assists: 29
  • Steals – 8
  • Blocks – 5
  • Turnovers – 12
  • Points off turnovers – 9
  • Fast Break Points – 10
  • Points in the Paint: 56

More from Space City Scoop

Three Things We Saw/Heard:

  1. Commentators gave out an interesting stat on Clint Capela: his average of 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in 19 minutes is something that has never been accomplished in NBA history
  2. The very same announcers are literally the worst in the Association. When they debated the fact the zebras should review whether Howard goal tended I found it hilarious the one said “Do you think it matters that Blake’s hand was in the net?”
  3. Drake was at the game saying he was recording his album and felt a bit guilty since he hadn’t attended a Raptors game this season, but shouted out their 5-1 record.

Video: Drake doing the "Hotline Bling" dance at the Clippers game tonight. pic.twitter.com/BZFHicpu73

— Word On Road (@WordOnRd) November 8, 2015

The Rockets now get 3 days off which will come in handy as the team finally can practice. Next up they’ll play the Brooklyn Nets at home on Wednesday.

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