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Scott Scores 30 as Lakers Win by 22 : Clippers Benjamin and Woodson Are Ejected From Game

March 10, 1987|CHRIS BAKER | Times Staff Writer

The Lakers are headed for the playoffs. The Clippers are headed for the National Basketball Assn. draft lottery.

The Lakers (48-14) have the best record in the league. The Clippers (10-49) have the worst.

The only doubt about Monday night's Laker-Clipper game was the Lakers' margin of victory.

The Lakers jumped out to a 27-point lead in the third period and went on to crush the woeful Clippers, 136-114, before an announced crowd of 12,067 fans at the Sports Arena.

So what else is new?

Laker guard Byron Scott scored a game-high 30 points. James Worthy added 20 points and A.C. Green had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Magic Johnson had 15 points and passed off for 15 assists.

The Lakers might have had more competition if they had held an intrasquad scrimmage.

The only drama was provided by Clipper center Benoit Benjamin and Laker center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Benjamin was ejected from the game with 7:19 left in the third period after he received two consecutive technical fouls after a heated discussion with referee Bennett Salvatore.

Benjamin, apparently unhappy with call, said to Salvatore: "That's (expletive) b.s."

Benjamin repeated his statement several times before Salvatore hit him with a technical. Still angry, Benjamin kept up his tirade and Salvatore handed him his second technical foul, which meant an automatic ejection.

Benjamin angrily stormed off to the Clipper locker room.

He had left the locker room by the time reporters were admitted after the game.

Clipper captain Mike Woodson was also kicked out of the game with 4:20 left in the fourth period after he was called for a pair of technical fouls.

Woodson, who led the Clippers with 23 points, got into an argument with referee Joe Crawford after he was called for an offensive foul.

Woodson lost the argument and got two technical fouls.

"I put a screen on (Mike) Smrek and he bowled through it," Woodson said. "I just pushed him out and they called a foul on me.

"I've been around long enough. I'm not asking for any handouts but shoot, they're not blind. A man just can't run through screens."

There was also an ugly incident at the end of the game. Laker rookie forward Billy Thompson was going up for a slam dunk when Clipper rookie forward Steffond Johnson grabbed him from behind by his jersey and was called for a foul.

"His jersey got caught in my hand," Johnson said. "He was going up for a monster jam and I couldn't let him do it on me.

"The refs let it get out of hand. The only way we can get respect is to go out and do a Rambo. We've been playing patsy for so long. Enough is enough."

Abdul-Jabbar, who had only four points in the first half, almost saw his streak of 754 consecutive games of scoring in double figures end.

However, Kareem scored six points in the second half to finish with 10 points. He left the game with 10:54 left in the fourth period after he scored the Lakers' first basket of the period.

Abdul-Jabbar, who had five fouls, also tied Elvin Hayes' NBA record for most career fouls. Abdul-Jabbar has committed 4,193 fouls in his career.

However, Abdul-Jabbar might have broken the record if he hadn't gotten a break. He could have easily been called for another foul after he shoved reserve Clipper center Tim Kempton after Kempton had fouled him with 11 seconds left in the third period.

"I was going up to shoot and he (Kempton) came over my back," Abdul-Jabbar said. "I was just pushing him off. I wasn't going to throw any blows because I'm not going to pay any money."

Said Kempton, who had a career-high 14 points and 9 rebounds: "After a while, you just have to stand up for yourself. We're not trying to hurt anybody, we're just trying to get respect.

"On that play he (Abdul-Jabbar) spun around me, and I wasn't going to let him get an easy basket.

"When he comes and just pushes you, I wasn't surprised because that's Kareem. I guess that what happens when you put in your dues for 18 years. He has the respect of the refs.

"I made a lousy play by not boxing him out. I was trying to prevent him from getting a three-point play. It happens every game. Kareem just didn't take a liking to it."

Clipper Coach Don Chaney said: "You can't say much about the officials, and I'm not going to say anything. We're down at the bottom so we get those calls. We're the last guys they expect to give calls. We've had that all year so we should be used to it.

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