NBA Game Summary - LA Clippers at Portland
(Sunday, January 1st)
Final Score: LA Clippers 100, Portland 94
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Cuttino Mobley scored 23 points and Sam Cassell had 22 for the Los Angeles Clippers, who held off Portland for a 100-94 victory at the Rose Garden.
Elton Brand compiled 20 points and 11 rebounds while Chris Kaman contributed 14 points and 15 boards to help the Clippers snap a 12-game losing streak in Portland.
Los Angeles, which also had lost four of five overall coming in, hadn't won at the Rose Garden since April 12, 1999 and had dropped 24 of its last 25 meetings with the Trail Blazers as the visitor.
"This (game) wasn't do-or-die at this point and time, but certainly for us this was a much needed win," said Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy. "We had been struggling and we did a lot of good things performance wise."
Juan Dixon recorded 24 points and Zach Randolph had 18 along with 11 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who cut a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit down to two before eventually faltering.
Portland, which has dropped two straight following a season-best three consecutive wins, made just 3-of-10 free throws, the worst percentage in franchise history. In contrast, the Clippers went 20-of-23 from the line as a team.
"We weren't aggressive," said Blazers center Joel Przybilla. "We were just settling for jump shots and it showed."
Los Angeles was up 85-71 following a Cassell three-pointer with around 10 minutes to play, then the Trail Blazers began their comeback effort.
Portland put together an 11-2 run and cut the lead to 87-82 after Randolph hit a runner with 5:18 remaining. Three minutes later, Theo Ratliff's dunk off a Ruben Patterson feed brought the Blazers within 89-87.
It was still a two-point game when Cassell sank a clutch jumper with 30 seconds left to put LA up 95-91. After a Portland turnover on the other end, Mobley was fouled and made 1-of-2 shots for a five-point edge.
Dixon's three-pointer with 17 seconds to go trimmed the lead to 96-94, but Kaman made four free throws in the waning stages to seal the win.
The Clippers held a slim 28-26 lead early in the second quarter, but outscored Portland 16-2 over the next four minutes to move ahead comfortably.
Brand netted 10 points during the run, which was capped by Shaun Livingston's jumper with 6:39 left in the half that put Los Angeles up 44-28.
Portland slowly chipped away at its deficit and drew within 55-46 at the break after Charles Smith buried a three-pointer right before the buzzer.
The Blazers carried that momentum into the second half, as Portland opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run and closed the gap to 57-56 after Randolph put back his own miss less than three minutes into the period.
After the teams traded a pair of baskets, Cassell hit a short jumper and Daniel Ewing buried a three-pointer to start a 12-2 spurt that extended the Clippers' lead to 73-62 with under four minutes left in the third. Los Angeles headed into the final period with a cushy 80-68 advantage.
Portland's previous franchise low for free throw percentage was 32 percent (8- of-25), set against Boston on February 17, 1975...The home team had won 10 straight in the series coming in...Steve Blake dished out 11 assists for Portland...The Blazers' bench outscored the Clippers' reserves 36-10...Portland shot 46 percent from the field and made 7-of-16 three- point attempts...Cassell added seven assists for Los Angeles.
01/02 00:25:29 ET