NBA Game Summary - Portland at LA Clippers
(Wednesday, April 12th)
Final Score: LA Clippers 97, Portland 93
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Elton Brand scored 25 points as the Los Angeles Clippers downed Portland, 97-93, at the Staples Center.
Sam Cassell notched 19 points and 10 assists for the Clippers, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Chris Kaman posted 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Cuttino Mobley added 13 points.
Jarrett Jack tied his season high of 20 points for the Trail Blazers, who dropped their fourth straight. Viktor Khryapa scored 14 points, while Martell Webster and Theo Ratliff added 11 points apiece.
Los Angeles is still one-half game behind Memphis in the battle for the Western Conference's No. 5 seed, after the Grizzlies beat Charlotte 96-88 earlier Wednesday.
Ratliff scored a jump hook with 43.8 seconds left to cut the Blazers' deficit to 92-89. Mobley converted a free throw with 22.2 seconds left to make it a two- possession game, however.
Jack scored a layup with 13.4 seconds to go to close Portland's gap to 93-91. Despite Kaman traveling with the ball, no call was assessed and he got fouled moments later. Kaman converted a pair of free throws with 12.2 seconds left to put the Clippers back up by four.
Jack quickly drove through the lane and scored another layup with 7.5 seconds left to close the gap back by two. Mobley was immediately fouled and made both free throws with 6.9 seconds left for the final margin, however, as Blake missed a three just before the buzzer.
"Good teams don't need another team to push them," Cassell said. "Good teams know what it takes to be successful. We need to start that right now. As Mike [Dunleavy] said earlier today, everyone needs to look in the mirror, and be accountable for what they do."
The Clippers got their 45th victory of the season, which ties them with the 1991-92 team for most wins since the franchise moved to California in 1978.
Portland gained an early advantage with a 28-22 lead after the first quarter, and Los Angeles outscored the Blazers by five in the second stanza to trail 53-52 at halftime.
Portland forward Darius Miles came out of the locker room in street clothes in the second half without the Blazers coach's consent.
"No excuse for that," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "What I told him was, 'I wasn't planning to use him (Miles), but dress and be available,' and in the second half I guess he felt since I wasn't using him he was going to step out in street clothes...We'll have to talk about that."
The Clippers took the lead in the third quarter after outscoring the Blazers by two. They led 71-70 heading into the final stanza.
"We were a rebound away from possibly winning this game," McMillan said. "It was a 48-minute game. We played the 48 minutes together at both ends of the floor."
The Clippers are 4-3 in their last seven home games and 27-13 at the Staples Center this season. The Clippers next open a home-and-home series with Seattle before traveling to Memphis and Dallas to end the 2005-06 regular season.
Portland, meanwhile, has dropped 15 of its last 16 contests. The Trail Blazers have dropped 14 in a row on the road and own an abysmal 6-33 record away from the Rose Garden this season.
Wednesday's game between Portland and Los Angeles was the third and final meeting of the 2005-06 season. The Clippers earned a 3-0 season sweep and have won four straight and five of the last six meetings...Portland has lost six straight and nine of its last 11 at the Clippers.
04/13 02:13:37 ET