LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dwight Howard returned for the first time to Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Clippers ran his Houston Rockets off the floor with their most points in four years.
J.J. Redick scored 19 of his 26 points in the first half to lead seven players in double figures, and Los Angeles beat Houston 137-118 Monday night, handing the Rockets their first loss of the season.
"We were making everything," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "They were in foul trouble. A lot of things went right."
It was the Clippers' highest-scoring game since having 140 against the Knicks on March 25, 2009.
"A lot of times I just come out with energy and that energy is not matched by the guy guarding me," Redick said.
Chris Paul added 23 points and 17 assists, Jamal Crawford had 21 points, and Blake Griffin scored 18 for the Clippers, who led the entire game and tied a franchise record with 78 points in the first half.
"Offense is pretty good," Paul said. "It's all about our pace. We're up-tempo. If a team misses, we're running."
Howard finished with 13 points and nine rebounds after getting roundly booed in his first game in Los Angeles since leaving the Lakers and signing with Houston in the NBA's biggest free agent move last summer.
"They can boo me a million times. I'll still play," he said.
Reflecting on his one up-and-down season with the Lakers, Howard said, "I just allowed what people said to affect how I played. But I can't do that. I mean, I'm better than that."
Jared Dudley added 15 points and DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who have won five in a row against Houston at home and three straight overall after losing their season opener to the Lakers.
"They had 15 3s and a ton of paint points, so they had the best of both worlds," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said.
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