Guard Quintin Dailey scored on a layup with five seconds left to give the Clippers an 88-85 win over the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night before 8,232 fans at the Sports Arena.
Dailey, who led the Clippers with 16 points, took a bounce pass from teammate Larry Drew with the score tied and beat 76er guard Maurice Cheeks on a backdoor play.
"Cheeks was on me, and David Wingate came flying over to help out," Dailey said. "I passed it to Drew and he threw it back to me. It was a heckuva bounce pass."
Said Drew: "We wanted to go to Quintin because he had the hot hand. Cheeks was on him, but Quintin was wide open underneath the basket. I threw him a bounce pass because that was the only way I could get the ball to him."
Said Cheeks: "It was a gutsy pass but it worked."
Clipper Coach Gene Shue said the play was designed to go to Dailey. "Quintin has had some very good games for us this season," Shue said. "He's a one-on-one player and he could be very valuable for us.
"That was a very rewarding win for the players. We hadn't beaten Philly for a long, long time."
The 76ers botched an attempt to tie the game as Clipper forward Michael Cage stole an inbounds pass from Albert King intended for Cliff Robinson with three seconds left. King fouled Clipper rookie forward Joe Wolf and Wolf hit a free throw for the final margin.
The win broke a 14-game losing streak against Philadelphia. It was the Clippers' first victory over the 76ers since February 21, 1980.
Forward Charles Barkley led the 76ers (5-7), scoring 21 points before he fouled out with 45 seconds left. Barkley also grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked 3 shots.
"We had our chances to win but we didn't take advantage of them," Barkley said.
Robinson added 20 points, and center Mark McNamara had 17 points and a career-high 22 rebounds. Wingate added 14 points.
Wolf had 12 points and Cage had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles (5-8). Benoit Benjamin and guard Darnell Valentine also had 11 points each for the Clippers, who broke a two-game losing streak.
With the Clippers trailing, 76-72, Dailey scored four straight points to tie the score with 4 minutes 9 seconds left in the game.
After the 76ers went back in front on a basket by Robinson, Los Angeles tied when McNamara was called for goaltending on a jumper by Wolf.
Wolf added a pair of free throws after he was fouled to give the Clippers the lead, and Dailey sank a 15-footer with 2:01 left to make it 82-78.
But the 76ers scored five straight points to take the lead on a layup by Wingate with 57 seconds left. Cheeks set up the basket when he stole the ball from Dailey under the basket at the other end.
The Clippers called time with 52 seconds left to set up a play.
Dailey drove to the basket, and Barkley fouled him to send Dailey to the line and Barkley to the bench with his sixth foul. Dailey sank both free throws to give the Clippers an 84-83 lead with 45 seconds remaining.
The 76ers missed two shots at the other end, and Cage grabbed the rebound after the second miss by Cheeks. He was fouled by Robinson with 26 seconds left. Cage sank the second free throw after missing the first to give Los Angeles an 85-83 lead.
Philadelphia immediately called time to set up a play, and it worked when Wingate scored on a drive with 18 seconds left to tie it, 85-85, setting the stage for Dailey's heroics.
The Clippers played an ugly first quarter as the 76ers jumped out to a 27-14 lead. Los Angeles shot just 26.1% in the first quarter, hitting only 6 of 23 shots.
Trailing, 4-2, the 76ers blitzed the Clippers 9-0 in 4 minutes 36 seconds to take an 11-4 lead with 6:20 left in the period. The Clippers, however, reeled off seven straight points to tie it, 11-11.
But that's when the roof fell in.
The 76ers closed out the quarter with a 16-3 run in the span of 4:49 to take a 13-point lead. Barkley had six points in the spurt, including a pair of basket-rattling dunks.
Philadelphia couldn't stand prosperity, however.
The 76ers were cold at the start of the second period, missing 9 of 11 shots as the Clippers got back into the game.
Los Angeles outscored the 76ers, 24-10, to take a 38-37 lead with 1:51 remaining in the half on a jumper by Mike Woodson.
The 76ers ended the quarter with four straight points to take a 41-38 lead at intermission.
Robinson led the 76ers with 12 points in the first half, and McNamara added 11 points and hauled down 10 rebounds. After scoring eight points in the first period, Barkley cooled off in the second period, scoring just two points.
Benjamin, Dailey and Valentine had six points each for the Clippers in the second quarter. Woodson, who went 0 for 10 at Portland in the Clippers' 97-87 loss to the Trail Blazers last Friday, missed his first five shots before he broke his streak of misfires.
The Clippers were out-rebounded, 29-17, in the first half.
The 76ers took a 61-60 lead into the final period as McNamara hit a bank shot with nine seconds left in the third period to give Philadelphia the lead.