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James Harden scores 16 in 4th to help Rockets elude Clippers, tie series

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No Paul no problem

Without an injured Chris Paul and fueled by another triple-double by Blake Griffin, the LA Clippers storm into Houston and take game 1 of their Conference Semifinal series.

HOUSTON -- James Harden scored 16 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Houston Rockets to a 115-109 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night that evened their Western Conference semifinal at one game apiece.

Dwight Howard had 24 points and 16 rebounds for the Rockets, who bounced back from a 117-101 loss in the opener. Game 3 is Friday night in Los Angeles.

Trevor Ariza added 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 34 points but had just eight after halftime as Houston keyed on him with All-Star point guard Chris Paul out with a hamstring injury.

Coach Doc Rivers said before the game that Paul is getting better but still isn't "moving well." Rivers isn't sure if Paul will be ready for Game 3 but expects him to play at some point in this series.