NBA Game Summary - Portland at LA Clippers
(Wednesday, January 5th)
Final Score: LA Clippers 102, Portland 98
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Corey Maggette scored 15 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and hit two free throws with 1:01 remaining to lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 102-98 victory over Portland at the Staples Center.
Maggette finished 8-of-12 from the field and 13-of-13 from the free throw line to lead the Clippers to their third straight win. Bobby Simmons and Elton Brand contributed 22 and 18 points, respectively, in the triumph.
"I'm really pleased with our performance," said Los Angeles head coach Mike Dunleavy. "We defended well."
Derek Anderson topped the Trail Blazers with 15 points, while Damon Stoudamire compiled 14 along with six assists off the bench. Zach Randolph finished with 10 points, less than half of his season average, and pulled down nine boards for Portland, which has dropped four of five.
Portland fought back from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter and tied the contest at 96-96 on Nick Van Exel's runner with 1:16 remaining. Maggette then drove strong to the hoop before being fouled by Randolph, then promptly sunk both attempts from the charity stripe for a two-point edge.
After Randolph's potential tying jumper with 40 seconds to go missed the mark, Maggette buried a baseline shot with 19 seconds on the clock to extend the lead to 100-96. The Blazers missed a pair of shots in the final moments before Rick Brunson sealed the win by making two free throws with six seconds to go.
"We're starting to close out games, which is nice," Dunleavy added.
Los Angeles was down 51-48 at intermission but made nine of its first 12 shots to build a 66-55 advantage midway through the third quarter.
The Clippers started the second half on an 8-0 run and extended its cushion to 11 points when Simmons and Brand made consecutive baskets to close out an 18-4 spurt over the first 6 1/2 minutes of the period.
Portland got the lead under double-digits late in the third quarter and closed out the stanza with back-to-back three-pointers by Van Exel to pull within 75-72.
Two made free throws by Maggette put the Clippers up 86-81 with eight minutes left, but Sebastian Telfair's three-pointer and Darius Miles' three-point play highlighted a 6-2 spurt which brought the Blazers within a single point.
Portland tied the score at 92-92 on two Randolph foul shots with 5:11 to go.
Brunson dished out a career-high 14 assists...Los Angeles placed forward Chris Wilcox on the injured list with a stress reaction in his lower right leg. Center Mamadou N'Diaye, who had been out with back spasms, was activated...The home team has won eight straight and 15 of 16 in the series...Blazers forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim sat out with a hyperextended elbow.
01/06 01:39:15 ET