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Clippers: Rockets' hot shooting from deep gives them 54-49 halftime lead over Clippers

March 2, 2011 |  8:56 pm

The Rockets are spoiling the home debut of newly acquired Clippers guard Mo Williams and the return of guard Eric Gordon with lights-out shooting from three-point range.

Houston has hit eight of 15 from beyond the arc and has a 54-49 lead at halftime.

Williams, playing in his first game at Staples Center after arriving from Cleveland in a trade for Baron Davis, has five points and six assists.

Williams' first highlight came with 5:13 left in the second quarter when he tipped away a Luis Scola pass, then kept the ball from going out of bounds by flipping it up into the air, where Clippers center DeAndre Jordan caught it and gave it back to Williams, who then threw an alley-oop back to Jordan.

Jordan was standing behind Rockets center Brad Miller on the other side of the basket, but he jumped high with his right hand extended and dunked over Miller to bring the crowd to its feet and the Clippers to within five points.

WIlliams then knocked down back-to-back midrange jumpers before throwing an alley-oop to Blake Griffin off a pick-and-roll play.

Griffin rattled the rim with both hands on his first dunk of the night with 2:35 before halftime. He has a team-high 14 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers and has hit all six of his free throws. 

The Clippers led 12-4 early, but the turning point occurred when Clippers rookie guard Eric Bledsoe was issued a technical foul with 8:51 left in the second quarter after apparently arguing after he was called for a personal foul.

The Rockets went on a 13-0 run following his technical, six of those points coming on consecutive three-point jumpers from guard Goran Dragic, recently acquired by Houston in a trade with Phoenix.

Oh, and as for Gordon, who is playing in his first game since injuring his left wrist Jan. 22, he isn't showing much rust. He has scored 11 points on four-for-nine shooting from the field while playing with a black, heavily cushioned brace on that left wrist. He scored the Clippers' first five points. 

Clippers center Chris Kaman has nine points and five rebounds off the bench. 

Guard Kyle Lowry leads Houston with 14 points. Guard Courtney Lee has added 12 on five-for-seven shooting. 

The Clippers are shooting 19 for 40 (47.5%) from the field, and the Rockets are shooting 20 for 48 (41.7%) 

-- Baxter Holmes