Clippers get things back into focus

first_img“With his injury, he’s with us,” Elton Brand said of Livingston. “We’re not putting it behind us because he’s with us. If anybody can rehab from it, I know he can. He’s young and has a great will. We didn’t want to dedicate this game to him because anything less than a blowout wouldn’t have been enough.” The Clippers might have been inspired to do just that early on, as they went up by as many as 12 points in the second quarter. But Seattle recovered to lead 75-74 heading into the fourth quarter. Corey Maggette made twofree throws with 27.6 seconds left to give the Clippers a 93-91 lead. After Seattle’s Earl Watson (UCLA) turned the ball over, Chris Kaman added to the Clippers’ lead with two free throws with 10.9 seconds left. Elton Brand added one of two free throws with 1.2 seconds left. But the win could come with a price. The teams’ play again tonight in Seattle, and how Sam Cassell (abdominal strain), Cuttino Mobley (strained groin) and Tim Thomas (back spasms) respond is anybody’s guess. The victory kept the Clippers tied for the West’s eighth playoff spot with New Orleans, which also won Wednesday night, 107-100 over Atlanta. It was the first game for the Clippers since seeing Livingston go down with a horrific left knee injury Monday, in which he dislocated his left knee and kneecap and tore his anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and lateral meniscus. “Sometimes, you’re guessing whether they’re telling you the truth, saying `I’m fine. I’m fine,”‘ Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. “Then you see them dragging their leg up the court. I was limited on minutes with how much they were supposed to play, but I went over on all of these guys.” But to put things in perspective, Mobley said: “Working 9 to 5 is tough. Getting up early in the morning, 5 o’clock, to feed your kids – that’s tough.” The bumps and bruises could not come at a less opportune time for the Clippers. They are already trying to figure out how to recover from losing Livingston, who averaged 29.8 minutes per game. Cassell figures to log in more minutes at point guard, but he has been fighting an abdominal strain. When asked if he could play 35 minutes per night, said, “I don’t think so, but I’ll try.” Cassell played 34 minutes and had 16 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Clippers. Daniel Ewing, Cassell’s backup, played 13 minutes and had four assists and two points. Dunleavy met with Livingston on Wednesday and offered encouraging words. “He seemed good,” Dunleavy said. “He looked good, and he’s an intelligent kid. He understands what the situation is. The good news is that he’s not the first guy jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. There have been guys before.” Brand had an off night shooting, going 5 of 14 from the field, but he passed the ball well. He finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Maggette also had 18 points as six Clippers scored in double figures. [email protected] (562) 499-1338 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img With teammate Shaun Livingston not far from their minds, the Clippers went back to the focus at hand – trying to stay in the Western Conference playoff race. The Clippers did that, holding on to win their third consecutive game, 96-91 over the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday night at Staples Center. last_img
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