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Clippers Lose Sixth Straight, 121-111 : Warriors Prevail Despite an Unusual Effort by Benjamin

March 12, 1987|CHRIS BAKER | Times Staff Writer

These are the dog days of winter for the Clippers. They aren't going anywhere, yet they have to play out the rest of the season.

They put up a good fight for a half against the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night, but they collapsed at the start of the second half and lost their sixth straight game, 121-111, before an announced crowd of 8,298 fans at the Sports Arena.

Center Joe Barry Carroll and guards Chris Mullin and Terry Teagle scored 22 points apiece as the Warriors won their fourth straight game.

Carroll made 8 of 17 shots and 6 of 7 free throws. He also had 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals.

"It looked easier than it was," Carroll said. "We never put them away until the end of the game."

Mullin hit 7 of 13 shots and 8 of 10 free throws, while Teagle sank 8 of 12 shots and all 6 of his free throws.

Forward Rod Higgins added 17 points, and Eric (Sleepy) Floyd had 15 points and 9 assists. Larry Smith had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors.

The score was tied, 57-57, at the end of the first half, but the Warriors blitzed the Clippers, 13-2, at the start of the third period to take a 70-59 lead. The Clippers missed their first five shots in the second half.

"We had a little stretch (at the start of the second half) where we couldn't hit anything," Clipper Coach Don Chaney said. "That was the difference in the game."

Golden State Coach George Karl said: "I think it's a great win. It's not easy coming in here and playing with Sleepy banged up. A lot of our guys were tired."

The Clippers fought back to cut the Warrior lead to five points in the fourth period.

The highlight of the Clipper comeback was center Benoit Benjamin diving on the floor for a loose ball. Benjamin fell on top of Warrior guard Perry Moss to force a jump ball.

The move stunned Benjamin's teammates.

"That was an improvement for him (Benjamin)," Clipper guard Darnell Valentine said. "It's something we could have used all year."

Benjamin scored 18 points and hauled down 13 rebounds for the Clippers.

Valentine led the Clippers with 21 points and he passed off for 10 assists. Rory White added 16 points, and Quintin Dailey had 15. Forward Michael Cage had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Clippers, who trailed, 21-10, midway through the first period, outscored the Warriors, 19-7, to take a 29-28 lead at the end of the first period.

White gave the Clippers the lead when he hit a layin off a lob pass from Earl Cureton at the buzzer.

White led the Clippers with 12 points in the first period, while Valentine added 7 and Benjamin 6.

However, the Warriors, who were behind by as many as nine points in the second period, came back to tie it at 57-57 at halftime.

Carroll scored 16 points in the first half, including 10 in the second period. Mullin had 11 points in the first half.

Valentine had 12 points and 10 assists in the first half.

Teagle came off the bench to score 18 points in the second half.

"My shot was falling, and George (Karl) was calling my number quite a bit," Teagle said. "He kept calling my number, and the shots kept falling. Basically, every shot was called from the bench.

"I felt like we were playing well. They were making runs at us. We felt we didn't hold the lead as well could have. So me and Greg (Ballard) were talking about that."

Clipper Notes Purvis Short missed his third straight game with a pulled thigh muscle. Short said he hopes to return Sunday. . . . Clipper guard Larry Drew (ankle) and forward Kenny Fields (calf) also sat out the game. . . . Clipper assistant coach Don Casey, who has been mentioned as a candidate for the head coaching job at San Diego State, said he hasn't talked to anyone at the school about the job. "I'm interested, but I haven't been contacted," Casey said. . . . The Clippers play the Seattle SuperSonics Friday night at the Sports Arena.

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