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Clippers remind Rockets of who runs the West

Dwight Howard / Blake Griffin engage in battle on the court
Dwight Howard / Blake Griffin engage in battle on the court
Mark J. Terrell

Returning home from a 2-1 road trip, the Los Angeles Clippers continued to grind past the Houston Rockets for the 101-93 win at Staples Center.

The Clippers showed that they could neutralized their combo of James Harden and Dwight Howard on Wednesday night.

The Clippers began with an enormous amount of intensity on a 14-2 run in the opening quarter against the Rockets.

Jamal Crawford left the game with just 13 second left in the second quarter with a calf strain. He did not return and finished with eight point on 1 for 6 shooting. He is listed as day to day.

Personally, I'm a little concerned. When guys get injured and nobody's around them, that always scares me," Rivers said about Crawford's injury.

The Rockets managed to erase a 14 point deficit, and captured the 48-46 lead at halftime over the Clippers.

The two teams continued to battle, as veteran Glen "Big Baby" Davis entered the game with 1.8 seconds left in the third quarter to a great ovation.

Darren Collison replaced Crawford in the second half, and joined Jared Dudley in launching back to back three pointers, giving the Clippers an 82-76 lead.

Collison held James Harden in check defensively, where it's enabled Houston to make any significant run in the fourth quarter.

Blake Griffin finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds, and DeAndre Jordan finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Darren Collison scored seven of his 19 points in the final two minutes of the final quarter.

"I've been working on my jump shot all season long because I knew I was going to be in this situation at times," Collison said. "If I'm out there, I'm going to be aggressive and try to score any way I can."

Chris Paul finished with 14 points and 9 assist in the win. Wednesday night's victory over the Rockets give them the home court advantage, if the two teams meet in the playoffs with identical records.

The Clippers improve to an impressive 24-5 home record.

James Harden scored 18 points, Dwight Howard finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Chandler Parson struggled shooting 3 for 13 and finished with 7 points.

"We're going to have to see them down the road at some point," Howard said. "We understand that playing this team, we've got to get off to better starts."

The Clippers look ahead to prepare for New Orleans on Saturday night at Staples Center.

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