The Houston Rockets lived to see another day following James Harden’s triple-double Tuesday night, in a 124-103 rout of the LA Clippers in Game 5.
Harden scored 26 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out ten assists in the crucial victory, and helped the Rockets force a Game 6 back in L.A.
Houston overcame yet another monster night from Blake Griffin, who put up 30 points and snatched 16 boards in the loss.
Per the Houston Chronicle:
It took four games of their playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, including two humbling blowout defeats that pushed them to the brink of elimination, but with the season on the line, the Rockets finally played their way. […] They pushed the pace and attacked the rim, getting everything they needed, including a 124-103 blowout of the Los Angeles Clippers to send the series back to Staples Center for Game 6 on Thursday with the Clippers leading, 3-2, but the Rockets feeling as if they are back in more ways than on the scoreboard.
More than that, they were just tough as they were not in the losses in Los Angeles, with the resolve to withstand the Clippers’ runs and the determination for James Harden to have his best all-around game of the series while battling a cold that had him coughing and gasping throughout the game. […] “I’m all right,” Harden said. “We won the game. That’s all that matters. I’ve just been feeling a little down these last couple games. I’ll be all right.”
“We weren’t aggressive enough the first four games,” Harden said. “We were timid. They have really good bigs. We made a conscious effort to go into attack mode.” […] Rockets coach Kevin McHale tweaked his rotation a bit to play Harden for shorter stints, having him come out in the first quarter when Dwight Howard usually does. But when Harden returned, he took over, scoring 14 second-quarter points to take the Rockets to a 15-point lead. He still played 43 minutes, getting his first playoff triple double with a career playoff high 11 rebounds and 10 assists.