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Clippers End Their 6-Game Losing Streak : Gordon's Steal Sets Up Valentine's Layup in 108-104 Win Over Seattle

March 14, 1987|CHRIS BAKER | Times Staff Writer

The Clippers snapped a six-game losing streak Friday night, beating the Seattle SuperSonics, 108-104, before an announced crowd of 6,522 fans at the Sports Arena.

"Maybe we should play all our games on Friday the 13th," said Clipper guard Lancaster Gordon, who came up with a key steal in the Clipper comeback.

The Clippers also won on Friday, Feb. 13, beating the Spurs at San Antonio, 110-96.

Gordon also hit a baseline jumper with 1:39 left in the fourth period to give the Clippers a 102-101 lead. "They had been giving us that shot the entire game," he said. "I had planned to dump the ball inside to Michael (Cage), but he moved so I took it."

After the Sonics tied it at 102-102 when Alton Lister made a free throw with 1:20 left, Clipper guard Mike Woodson sank a six-foot bank shot with 1:04 left to give the Clippers a 104-102 lead.

But Sonic forward Dale Ellis tied it again at 104-104 when he hit a short jumper from the right side with 50 seconds left.

Gordon then came up with the play of the game, stealing a pass from Sonic guard Eddie Johnson and setting up teammate Darnell Valentine for a layup with 18 seconds to play.

"He (Johnson) turned his back to get a play from the bench, and that's when I went for it," Gordon said of his steal.

Gordon finished with 10 points, 2 assists and 3 steals in 14 minutes.

"I thought he (Gordon) performed excellent," Clipper Coach Don Chaney said. "He made a big jumper and he had a big steal.

"This game brought back old memories. That was basketball the way it should be played."

Asked what went wrong on Gordon's steal, Seattle Coach Bernie Bickerstaff said: "We simply did not make the plays. We had two options on the play, Eddie Johnson on the cut and Dale Ellis on the double (screen), but they took away our vision.

"I thought the Clippers played well. Don't take anything away from them."

Woodson stole a pass from Tom Chambers to set up a Cage slam dunk with five seconds left for the final margin.

Woodson finished with a team-high 22 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

"I'm not giving up and I'm sure the rest of the guys aren't," Woodson said. "This season has been very embarrassing. But we've got 21 games left and we want to finish strong. It's about time that we made the plays at the end of the game."

Chambers led the Sonics with 31 points, including 25 in the first half. He had 9 points in the first quarter and 16 in the second.

Chambers opened the game with a three-point shot and he went on to hit his first four three-pointers before missing.

However, the Sonics did not go to Chambers enough in the second half as he scored just six points.

Ellis added 23 points and 7 rebounds, and McDaniel had 18 points and 6 rebounds for the Sonics (33-32), who have lost two straight.

The Sonics had beaten the Clippers three times in four previous meetings this season, including a 124-112 win in their last game Feb. 23 in Seattle.

"We read some comments that they (the Sonics) made in the papers after their last game with us," said Valentine, who had 11 points and 10 assists. "I think that was a little bit of an incentive for us. They said that it's nothing to beat the Clippers. Well, you can't keep kicking a dog when it's down."

Quintin Dailey scored 17 points before fouling out for the Clippers. Cage had 16 points and 9 rebounds, and Rory White also had 16 points.

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