first_imgLos Angeles finished the third quarter on an 18-0 and extended that to 23-0 and a 104-76 lead at the outset of the fourth, the final three points of the barrage coming on a 28-foot bomb by Rivers.Rivers scored those 15 third-quarter points on an array of strong drives to the basket, with a 10-footer and 24-foot 3-pointer thrown in for good measure. Rivers shot 10 of 13 from the field.“Attack,” said Doc Rivers, when asked what was going through his mind then. “I’ve been around him enough to know that much. He’s always been streaky like that.”J.J. Redick was spectacular, too, scoring a game-high 31 points on 11-of-14 shooting, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Blake Griffin had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Jamal Crawford and Paul each scored 12, with Paul doling out seven assists on 23-plus restricted minutes.DeAndre Jordan scored just six points, but pulled down 15 rebounds. When Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Friday announced before Game 3 of his team’s Western Conference semifinals series against the Houston Rockets that Chris Paul would play, all eyes figured to be on Paul.By the time the third quarter ended, they were on Austin Rivers, son of Doc. The younger Rivers scored 15 of his 25 points in the final 4 minutes and 7 seconds of the quarter, helping the Clippers extend a mere six-point lead to 23 by quarter’s end on their way to a rousing 124-99 victory before 19,367 delirious fans at Staples Center.The Clippers took a 2-1 series lead with Game 4 slated for Sunday at Staples Center. • Photos: Clippers ride 35-point third quarter to victory Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Paul just smiled when asked about Austin Rivers.“Austin was unbelievable,” Paul said. “I was probably his biggest cheerleader there in the third quarter, because you just love to see that.”Paul noted how hard Rivers was on himself after the Game 2 loss at Houston on Wednesday, when he had a turnover with 37 seconds left in the six-point setback. Rivers said Griffin reminded him that he had a similar blunder in the Game 2 loss against the Spurs in the first round.“Just never be too high, or too low,” Austin Rivers said, of what he is learning.Still, he admitted how terrific it was to come back and play like he did Friday.“Oh, it was fun, man,” he said. “I had so much fun out there. It started with our defense. We kept getting stops, so we were just getting the rebound and going.”By the time the third quarter was over, the crowd was chanting, “Austin Rivers, Austin Rivers.”“Played very well,” Houston coach Kevin McHale said of Rivers. “I mean, hey, he got it going.”Dwight Howard was not happy that he did.“You can’t allow guys like Austin Rivers to score 25 points,” he said. “That’s too many for him. That’s what swings games (for the Clippers). Those guys come off the bench and have big games like that and then you have to worry about those guys.”The Clippers shot 55.4 percent from the field, 44.8 (13 of 29) from 3-point range. Houston shot just 39.8 percent overall, 33.3 (11 of 33) from beyond the arc.James Harden led the Rockets with 25 points. But whereas he shot 15 free throws — making them all — in Game 2, he was 5 of 5 Friday.“I think I could have been a little bit more aggressive,” Harden said. “Just too passive.”Howard had 14 points and 14 rebounds and Jason Terry scored 13. Terry was ejected with eight minutes to play when he pushed an unsuspecting Griffin in the back with the Clippers leading 109-80. The Clippers led by as many as 32.As for Paul, he played for the first time since hitting the game-winning shot in Game 7 against the Spurs on May 2. He sustained a strained left hamstring in that game and missed the first two games of this series.“I got through, I got through,” Paul said. “This is the point of the season where nobody is 100 percent. If I could give anything to get out there and help the team, then I wanted to do it, cool.”Paul was short when asked if his hamstring became tight during the game.“I got through it,” he said, repeating his previous answer.last_img