NBA Game Summary - New York at LA Clippers
(Wednesday, November 14th)
Final Score: LA Clippers 84, New York 81
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Chris Kaman led five Clippers in double figures with 14 points and also pulled down 18 rebounds as Los Angeles escaped with an 84-81 victory over the New York Knicks at the Staples Center.
Corey Maggette finished with 13 points and hit the clinching free throws, and Sam Cassell had 13 to go along with five assists. Tim Thomas contributed 12 and Cuttino Mobley added 10 points and seven assists for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game losing streak that followed a season-opening four-game win streak.
The frontcourt of Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph led the way for the reeling Knicks, who have lost four straight while dealing with the Stephon Marbury- Isiah Thomas drama that involved Marbury leaving the team before Tuesday's loss in Phoenix.
Curry had 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Randolph went for 16 and 19, but the Knicks couldn't overcome a 28-for-81 (34.6 percent) shooting performance or the second-half hole they dug themselves.
"I thought we had a chance to win," Thomas said afterward. "But the lack of concentration killed us tonight."
A pair of free throws from Curry with 1:41 remaining in the game completed a 20-4 Knicks run that erased a Clippers lead as large as 16 points early in the fourth. Thomas hit a jumper to put LA back up two, and after a Knicks turnover Mobley banked home what appeared to be the game-icing bucket with 26.3 seconds left.
But Quinton Ross inexplicably committed a foul on the other end, and Fred Jones hit a pair of free throws to bring the Knicks back within 81-79. New York fouled Mobley, who hit 1-of-2 free throws to leave the door open for a potential game-tying three with 18.4 ticks on the clock.
Marbury opted to drive the lane for a quick two-point attempt, but misfired, and the ball ended up out of bounds off of LA. Marbury then went for two again and converted, but only 6.4 seconds were left on the clock when Maggette went to the line. He hit both from the line, and New York, with no timeouts remaining, managed just a Jamal Crawford desperation 30-footer before seeing their comeback attempt fall short.
Crawford finished with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Marbury, who didn't start as part of his apparent punishment in his first game since rejoining the team, ended with 13 and four assists.
"It felt great to be playing," Marbury said. "I was tired, but I played. Whatever role I am put in, I have to play while I'm here. I'm fine with this situation. I feel like I can go forward. I'm good. I'm cool. I can walk with my head up."
Thomas sounded less positive about the situation, saying "I've played with guys I didn't like, but my goal is to try and win basketball games no matter how I feel about the situation."
LA didn't shoot well in the first period, but still held an 18-17 lead heading into the second. Curry began to assert himself in the second quarter and Marbury's return seemed to provide New York with a spark, and they led 44-41 at half.
The Knicks extended the lead to 50-43 early in the third, but LA ran off a 20-3 run keyed by Cassell to finish the quarter. New York's dry spell continued into the beginning of the final stanza, and Brevin Knight's two free throws stretched the Clippers' lead to 71-55 with under nine minutes to go.
"We had a big third quarter," Kaman said. "Curry is 300-plus pounds and our guys did a good job double-teaming him. Some nights you're good, the next night you're not. We got the win. That's all that matters."
The Knicks have never beaten the Clippers at Staples Center, having now lost nine in a row...New York heads to Sacramento Friday, while the Clippers will take on Golden State in Oakland.
11/15 02:03:19 ET