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Rockets Tangle With Griffin, Clippers, At Staples

(Sports Network) The resurgent Houston Rockets hope to finish a three-game road trip tonight in perfect fashion against a Los Angeles Clippers team that has been much more competitive recently.

The Rockets improved to 2-0 on their trek Monday in Oakland when Kevin Martin scored 30 points and pulled down five rebounds as Houston held off the Golden State Warriors, 121-112.

Luis Scola added 20 points, nine boards and six assists for the Rockets, who have won three in a row and five of six overall. Shane Battier chipped in 14 points and five assists, while Kyle Lowry had 13 points and eight assists.

"We have been playing better as of late so it's easier to come out here with a little bit of confidence and win these games," said Battier.

The Clippers, meanwhile, also won their third straight in the opener of a three-game residency on Monday when Eric Gordon scored 21 of his season-high 36 points in the first half to help Los Angeles earn a 113-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Blake Griffin finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to record his 16th consecutive double-double. Ryan Gomes added a season-high 22 points and pulled down 10 boards for the Clippers, who have won three consecutive games for the first time this season.

"I just tried to get it going," Gordon said. "I've struggled the last couple of days. It was our tempo tonight, we created things for ourselves."

On the injury front for the Clippers, forward Craig Smith is expected to miss at least a couple of weeks with a herniated disc in his lower back.

LA, which is 6-10 at Staples Center on the year, finishes its homestand against Phoenix the day after Christmas.

Houston has won 11 of its past 13 games with the Clips in Hollywood.

Follow along with fellow Rockets fans on The Dream Shake.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.