No Har­den, no win, but no fret­ting yet

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Sports -

Five games in is too early for Hous­ton to panic. So they are keep­ing their cool – for now.

“All in all, we’ve got to get bet­ter in all as­pects,” Chris Paul said. “Luck­ily, it’s early.”

Mon­trezl Har­rell scored a ca­reer-high 30 points off the bench to help the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers rout the short­handed Rock­ets 133-113 on Fri­day night.

Hous­ton, which played with­out James Har­den due to a ham­string in­jury, dropped to 1- 4.

It was the Clip­pers’ sec­ond win this sea­son over the Rock­ets.

Har­rell, drafted by Hous­ton in 2015, was one of six Clip­pers who scored in dou­ble fig­ures.

“What we found in the sec­ond half (of last year) what no one knew was that he could score,” coach Doc Rivers said. To­day a Knick killer, to­mor­row …? Kevin Du­rant had his Gar­den mo­ment. The Knicks are hop­ing there will be a lot more in an­other jer­sey.

If there were any doubts about how one player could dras­ti­cally change a team, Du­rant re­minded New York why it should do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to pur­sue the most com­plete of­fen­sive force in the NBA.

Largely a spec­ta­tor for three quar­ters, Du­rant scored 25 of his 41 points in the fourth of a 128-100 vic­tory. The Knicks’ three-point lead dis­in­te­grated as they were torched by their No. 1 free-agent tar­get.

“I wasn’t ag­gres­sive enough,” said Du­rant, who took two shots in the third quar­ter.

“I wanted to come out there and im­pose my will scor­ing the ball. I felt like we needed it.”

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