Updated 06:45 PM EDT, Fri, Jun 05, 2020

LA Clippers Beaten by Houston Rockets in Game 2 Sans Chris Paul

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The Chris Paul-less Los Angeles Clippers failed to get a second consecutive win against the Houston Rockets in Game 2, where they were beaten with a 115-109 victory to even the playoff series.

Rockets shooting guard James Harden made 32 points during the game which had a lot of fouls, some of them even intentional, noted the New York Times.

Despite the 34 points coming from Clippers power forward Blake Griffin, the team still failed to clinch the win against the Rockets. Another factor for their loss could be Paul's absence due to a hamstring injury. The New York Times said it is still uncertain if the Clippers star will be back for Game 3.

More than an hour before Game 2, Clippers coach Doc Rivers decided that Paul will not be playing for Game 2 noting that his current condition was "not good enough to play in a basketball game."

The coach said in the New York Times article that if his situation was better, he could have played for the said game. "I don't know if I'm discouraged or encouraged about Game 3, but he's just going to have to take it day by day," the coach added.

Aside from Paul's absence, the Clippers also reportedly dealt with foul issues during the entire game.

"After Austin Rivers and DeAndre Jordan picked up two fouls apiece, the Clippers found themselves down by 11 points by the end of the first quarter. Harden was getting to the basket with relative ease, and Dwight Howard was having a fine time receiving lobs for dunks over the top of the Clippers' frontcourt," explained The New York Times in its report.

The Los Angeles Times attributed the Rockets' victory to their performance on the free throw line saying that the team made 64 free throws, a number double that of the Clippers.

"You're not going to win many games when the other team shoots 64 free throws and they make more free throws than we even attempted," Griffin said in the Los Angeles Times report.

In the third quarter alone, the winning team shot 25 free throws compared to the Clippers' seven while in the fourth quarter, it was 18-10 still in favor of the Rockets.

Because of this so-called "free throw victory," Griffin said that the Clippers should try harder in getting the referees' attention.

"We got to do a better job, I guess, of making it more obvious," the player added.

Game 3 will be on Friday as the Clippers host the Rockets at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It will be a crucial match for the teams as they both try to gain advantage of the second round of the playoff series.

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