caron butler

The Clippers shot 77 percent and scored 46 points in the first quarter, then lost their killer instinct the rest of the game.

But they still led all the way in earning their third straight victory, 106-96 over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

Caron Butler scored 17 of his 19 points in the opening quarter for Los Angeles. Blake Griffin had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Chauncey Billups had 19 points, Jamal Crawford scored 13 points and Chris Paul had 10 points and 11 assists as the Clippers started all their regulars again after the lineup had been hit by injuries during their recent Grammy road trip.

”We played great and got a little complacent with the lead,” Billups said. ”We’ve shown to lose our discipline sometimes.”

Chandler Parsons scored 17 points, Jeremy Lin added 14 points and James Anderson had a season-high 14 for the Rockets, who have lost five straight to the Clippers and three of five overall.

”They came out on fire and we didn’t do a good job of making it difficult for them,” Lin said. ”Once they got in a rhythm, it just kind of snowballed at least in the first quarter.”

Lin was set to have an X-ray on his right wrist after a fall in the second quarter.

”I think it’s fine. It just hurts,” he said.

James Harden missed the game with a sprained right ankle and sore left knee after stepping on David Lee’s left shoe in the fourth quarter against Golden State.

– Reported by Beth Harris of the Associated Press