Anthony's first start for Rockets ends in loss to Clippers

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It was a close match in the opening quarter (30-31), but the visitors were dominant in the rest of the game and outscored the hosts 83-102 to cruise to a 20-point victory (113-133).

He put up those numbers, playing support to Paul and Harden. In six career games, Harrell has averaged 15.3 points and 5.3 rebounds on 65 percent shooting against the Rockets, which includes his 30-point outburst from last night.

The Rockets are off to a rocky 1-3 start with both an offense and a defense in the bottom 11 of the National Basketball Association.

Two Western Conference teams with playoff hopes for the season but both underperforming until now are clashing, when the Houston Rockets (1-3), who are struggling having won only once this season, are hosting the Los Angeles Clippers (2-2), who are looking to bounce back after their latest defeat. There are also other players such as Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker, Michael Carter-Williams and Eric Gordon tasked to contribute via their usual roles. They are a great scoring team but they can't get stops.

"Obviously, we'd love to have the team full strength, but right now we're sort of dealing with the injury bug", Paul says. His departure-along with that of Trevor Ariza-elicited skepticism about the future of a Houston defense that finished last season ranked No. 6 overall in the National Basketball Association.

Replacing Ariza with Melo was the worst thing the Rockets could have done. Rockets are short-handed in this game and while Vegas odds give them a -3 spread, don't expect them to beat the odds and pick the Clippers for the road win. "We were switching, and obviously this team is different than a year ago, and they were busting us. We just dug ourselves a hole, and we've got to dig it out". The Goon Squad, as they call themselves, went for 85 points last night - just one point shy of the highest total I could find, 86, which the Dallas Mavericks scored in 2011. This team is going to be really good. However, without a lock-down defender, the Rockets will be in trouble.

"We were switching, and obviously this team is different than previous year, and they were busting us", D'Antoni told reporters in his postgame news conference .

Anthony, who is in his first season in Houston after one hard year in Oklahoma City, doesn't know why the Rockets have struggled with consistency this season.

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