Houston tipped off on Monday as one of just two remaining undefeated teams, but the Los Angeles Clippers made sure they didn't walk out of Staples Center that way. Doc Rivers, Chris Paul and Co. rolled the Rockets, 137-118, in a late-night matchup with very little defense involved.
And in a league where we're preconditioned to believe it's LeBron James' MVP trophy to win, CP3 is giving "the King" a run for his money. The league's best point guard finished with 23 points and 17 assists in the win, and the Clippers took advantage of early Dwight Howard foul trouble.
Los Angeles controlled this one from the start, running away from Dwight Howard, James Harden and the Rockets before they knew what hit them. J.J. Redick had his biggest game as a Clipper to date with 26 points, and Jamal Crawford was back to his brilliant self with 21 off the bench on the strength of six three-pointers.
And speaking of threes, the Clippers hit a bunch of them. Los Angeles hit 15-of-38 attempts from deep, and Houston connected on just seven of the 24 shots it took from beyond the arc. Both teams hit better than 50 percent of their shots, but in a game between two high-powered offense, that three-point percentage is all-important.
The entire Clippers starting lineup scored in double figures, while Harden led Houston starters with just 15 points. Howard was only able to manage 13 points and nine boards in 26 minutes, mostly due to foul issues before halftime.
And how bad did it get for Houston on Monday? The Rockets starting lineup had a combined +/- of negative-105 for the game.