With Clippers’ loss to Rockets, Suns win Pacific Division title – fr

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With Clippers’ loss to Rockets, Suns win Pacific Division title – fr


HOUSTON (AP) – Kelly Olynyk scored 20 points and fell off a rebound before a triple-double as the Houston Rockets broke a seven-game skid with a 122-115 win over a Los Angeles Clippers team who rested several starters on Friday night.
Olynyk had 11 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win for the first time since April 29.

“Each of them coming together for a win is really a good thing,” said coach Stephen Silas.

The Clippers were without Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Beverley as all three sat down on the second night of games in a row as the team prepare for the playoffs.

The loss paired with a Denver win on Friday night leaves the Clippers tied for third in the Western Conference with one game to play.

Coach Tyronn Lue said he’s been thinking about what his rotation will look like heading into the playoffs, but hasn’t figured it out yet.

“We have a lot of decisions to make, but the most important is health,” he said.

The Rockets, who have the worst record in the NBA at 17-54, have only won for the second time in the last 14 games thanks to a balanced score where seven players have scored at least 10 points.

Rookie Jae’Sean Tate added 20 points and Khyri Thomas and Anthony Lamb added 17 points each for Houston.

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta visited the team in the locker room after the win.

“Tilman came and spoke to the team and told them how proud he was of them and that he hadn’t done it this season,” said Silas. “The players really liked it. “

The Rockets were followed by no less than 11 in the first half, but used a 43-point second quarter to take an 83-79 lead at halftime.

A 3-point pointer by Luke Kennard put the Clippers ahead of four with about eight minutes left in the third quarter. The Rockets then used a 14-5 run, fueled by seven points from DJ Augustin, to extend the lead to 97-84 with about four minutes left in the third.

A basket from DeMarcus Cousins ​​reduced the lead to 11 early in the fourth quarter. But Thomas scored four quick runs for the Rockets to bring the score to 112-97 with about eight minutes remaining.

Kennard led the Clippers with 23 points and Rajon Rondo had nine points and 13 assists.

Rookie Jay Scrubb earned a career-high 17 points for the Clippers in his first career start.

“From this game tonight you can tell what kind of player he’s going to be,” said Lue. “He’s a goalscorer. “

The Clippers’ loss on Friday saw the Phoenix Suns clinch the Pacific Division title.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Avery Bradley missed a fifth straight game for personal reasons. … Christian Wood missed his sixth consecutive game with pain in his right ankle. … Kevin Porter Jr. was sidelined for a fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle.

Clippers: Serge Ibaka returned after missing 30 games with low back strain. He had 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 17 minutes. “I liked what I saw of Serge,” said Lue. “I think having Rajon on the floor with Serge helped. … Cousins ​​scored 13 points off the bench.

FAREWELL INVOICE

Friday night was the last game as a play-by-play announcer for Bill Worrell, who worked on the team’s TV show for 39 years.

Worrell will serve as a special contributor to AT&T SportsNet next season before retiring, but will no longer do play-by-play for the shows.

Worrell was honored with a video tribute during a time out in Friday’s game and Hall of Fame member Hakeem Olajuwon recorded a video message thanking Worrell for his years of working with the Rockets.

FOLLOWING

Rockets: End the season Sunday night in Atlanta.

Clippers: End the regular season Sunday night in Oklahoma City.



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