The Los Angeles Clippers are now closer than they've ever been to reaching the Conference Finals. After absolutely annihilating the Houston Rockets for the second game in succession, the Clippers have a 3-1 lead in the series, and there's really no indication that the Rockets will put up any fight in Game 5.
The 128-95 final score produced a 33 point final margin, the second most lopsided postseason victory in franchise history, behind only last season's 40 point drubbing of the Warriors.
The first half of this one was miserable. With no better options facing an opponent that they apparently realized was far superior, the Rockets went to Bang-the-DJ earlier than I've ever seen -- three minutes and 40 seconds into the game.
Jordan shot 28 free throws in the first half -- I guess it worked in a certain sense. He only made 10, and the Clippers fell into the trap of rushing to try to beat the foul on some possessions. But it didn't really work, because the Clippers were still up six at halftime, despite not playing particularly well.
Unfortunately for Houston, the ploy also seemed to anger the Clippers, who used a 21-4 run to open the second half, blowing the game wide open.
DeAndre finished with 26 points and 17 rebounds and would have likely had the first postseason 30-20 game since 2006 if he'd been needed in the fourth quarter. The 26 tied a career high for DJ. Five other Clippers scored in double, including Austin Rivers with 12 in his second straight strong game. Oh, and Chris Paul looked quicker in his second game back from his hamstring injury.
Johnny Stark will be along shortly with the full recap. For now, enjoy it citizens. The conference finals are feeling very real -- and if Memphis can keep it up, the Clippers could even have home court advantage.