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Clippers Weighed Down, Out

October 19, 1994|CHRIS BAKER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hurry back Stanley Roberts, Coach Bill Fitch and the Clippers need you.

The Clippers could have used Roberts, who has practiced only once after reporting to training camp overweight and out of shape, in Tuesday night's 120-104 exhibition loss to the Lakers before 18,052 at the Pond. It was the largest crowd in the 25-year history of the franchise that played in Buffalo and San Diego before moving to Los Angeles in 1984.

Roberts, who ballooned to 345 pounds last summer while recuperating from Achilles' tendon surgery, is down to 328 pounds, but he still isn't ready to play. He hasn't been in uniform for the Clippers' three exhibitions.

"We'll get him in shape," Coach Bill Fitch said. "It's a matter of time. I told Stanley 10 days ago that if he wanted to be nagged, get himself a wife. I told him 10 days ago, if he wanted to be a successful professional, he's going to have to support himself and be a self-starter.

"I'm not putting him out on the floor until he reaches a conditioning factor both with the trainer and the strength and conditioning coach."

The Clippers used four centers against the Lakers, Bob Martin, Matt Fish, Robert Werdann and Elmore Spencer, who returned after walking out of practice Monday night at UC Irvine.

With Roberts sidelined, the Lakers out-rebounded the Clippers by 31-20 in the first half as they took a 61-48 halftime lead. The Lakers ended the game with a 60-50 rebounding advantage.

Martin, Spencer, and Werdann didn't have any rebounds in the first half while Fish had one.

Laker forward Cedric Ceballos had 22 points, including 12 in the third quarter as the Lakers opened a 25-point lead. He made 11 of 15 shots as the Lakers won for the third time in three exhibitions.

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