With a 19-point lead in the second half, the Los Angeles Clippers were cruising toward clinching the franchise’s first Western Conference finals berth.
Not so fast.
BOX SCORE: ROCKETS 119, CLIPPERS 107
The Houston Rockets would not be denied.
Corey Brewer scored 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and Houston stunned Los Angeles 119-107 on Thursday night to force a Game 7.
“We kept saying, `We’re not going to quit,'” said Dwight Howard, who had 20 points and 21 rebounds. “We kept believing. We never gave up on each other.”
James Harden scored 23 points — making all 11 of his free throws — while spending most of the fourth quarter on the bench for the Rockets, who have won two straight after trailing the series 3-1. Josh Smith scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth.
Trailing 87-68, Houston outscored the Clippers 51-20 over the end of the third and in the fourth to shock the sellout crowd of 19,417 into near silence.
“We took our foot off the gas, stopped defending, a lot of things,” said Blake Griffin, who finished with 28 points and missed all five of his shots in the fourth quarter when the Clippers were 4 of 22 from the field.
Game 7 is Sunday in Houston.
“It’s about who wants it more,” Griffin said