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Williams helps Clippers slip past Houston

Mar 3, 2011 - 6:56 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Mo Williams finished with 17 points, including three free throws in the final 15 seconds, as the Clippers edged the Rockets, 106-103, at Staples Center.

Williams gave Los Angeles a 104-100 advantage with the second of two from the line with 14.4 seconds left on the clock. After Chase Budinger connected on a long three-pointer inside the final 10 seconds, Williams made a pair from the line for a 106-103 lead.

Budinger attempted a three at the buzzer, but the shot was far off target to end the game.

Eric Gordon led the Clippers with 24 points in his first game since missing significant time with a right wrist injury. Gordon last played on January 22.

"It felt good," Gordon said regarding his return. "I wasn't going to come back until I was ready and I was ready to play tonight."

Blake Griffin registered his 52nd double-double of the season with 20 points and 14 rebounds while Chris Kaman added 21 points and nine rebounds in a reserve role for LA, which snapped a five-game skid.

Kyle Lowry paced Houston with 24 points and 11 assists. Courtney Lee added 18 points in a reserve role while Kevin Martin and Luis Scola both finished with 12 points in the loss.

The Rockets had a five-game winning streak snapped.

"Tough loss," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We had opportunities but we could not get over the hump."

Kaman scored eight of the Clippers' first 10 points to open the fourth, and after his running hook shot at 8:52, their lead was 85-75. The LA lead reached a game-high 11 just over a minute later with a Randy Foye jumper. but Goran Dragic hit a three-pointer on the next possession to start a Houston comeback.

A 13-2 Rockets run tied the game at 91-91 with a pair of Scola free throws at 4:57. The Clippers attempted to create some distance from there, and after a pair of Gordon free throws with 29.2 seconds left on the clock the game was at 103-97 in favor of the hosts.

After a Rockets timeout, Lowry then connected on a three and Williams took over from the line from there.

"Playing with (Williams) is good," Gordon said. "I expect us to play even better with him."

The Clippers took a slim 23-21 lead after one, but the Rockets responded in the second to take a 54-49 lead into the half.

The Rockets shot a sub-par 7-of-20 from the field in the third and went scoreless in the final 5:05 of the quarter. The lackluster showing allowed the Clippers to take a 75-69 lead into the final stanza.

"We ran into a wall in the third quarter," Adelman said. "They simply took control."

Game Notes

The Clippers went 4-14 without Gordon in the lineup...Los Angeles had lost 12 of its previous 14 entering Wednesday...Griffin now has 40 games this season with 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds...The Rockets won the two previous meetings this season...DeAndre Jordan grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds to go with eight points for the Clippers...Brad Miller and Budinger both scored 11 points in the loss.