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article imageHouston overcomes 3-1 series deficit to eliminate LA

By Nate Smith     May 18, 2015 in Sports
Houston - The Houston Rockets clinched the franchises's first berth in the conference semifinals in nearly two decades Sunday with a Game 7 victory at home to eliminate the Los Angeles Clippers.
James Harden scored 31 points, and Dwight Howard netted 16 to go along with 15 rebounds as the Rockets dispatched L.A. 113-100 to clinch a best-of-seven series Houston one time trailed three games to one.
With the win, the Rockets become the ninth team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 series deficit. They advance to a West Conference Final matchup with the Golden State Warriors beginning Tuesday night.
On the cusp of its first conference finals appearance in franchise history, the Clippers lost three straight to Houston after building that 3-1 series advantage. Among those defeats was a Game 6 loss that saw L.A. blow a 19-point third quarter lead.
After the game, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told his players he too experienced heartbreak as a player.
Houston led basically the entire way Sunday. The Rockets never trailed at the end of a quarter. They led by double-digits at halftime, and although the Clippers had drawn to within three points late in the third quarter, the lead was back up to 20 in the early stages of the fourth quarter following a three-point play from Howard.
For the Rockets, this marks the team's first conference finals appearance since 1997.
The last team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit was the Phoenix Suns, who defeated the other Los Angeles team three straight times in 2006 to eliminate the Lakers.
More about Houston rockets, Los angeles clippers, Nba playoffs, NBA, Dwight howard
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