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Clippers End Poor Foreign Experience : Pro basketball: Twenty-five turnovers are key factor in a 112-95 loss to the Trail Blazers.

November 06, 1994|From Staff and Wire Reports

Clipper Coach Bill Fitch, the original captain video, usually doesn't go to sleep after a game until he has watched a videotape of the entire game.

But the Clippers' poor performances in their season-opening games against the Portland Trail Blazers in Yokohama, Japan, this weekend were enough to make Fitch shut off his VCR.

After losing by 21 points Friday night, the Clippers lost the rematch, 112-95, Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 14,239 at the Yokohama Arena.

The Clippers, who averaged a league-high 18 turnovers per game last season, have averaged 21 turnovers in their first two games, including 25 Saturday night.

There were whispers that Trail Blazer guard Clyde Drexler, a career 50% shooter, was deteriorating after shooting a career-low 42.8% last season.

But try telling that to the Clippers.

Drexler, who scored 26 points in the Trail Blazers' 121-100 victory Friday night, had 41 points, including 24 in the first half.

Drexler made 16 of 21 shots, including all four of his three-pointers. He also had seven rebounds, six assists and five steals. Guard Rod Strickland had 23 points and 14 assists.

Drexler and Strickland combined to outscore the entire Clipper team, 24-19, in the third quarter as the Trail Blazers built a 26-point lead.

Drexler beat the buzzer with a 40-foot shot as Portland took a 94-68 lead into the fourth quarter. Strickland had 13 points and Drexler added 11 in the third quarter as the Trail Blazers outscored the Clippers, 37-19, to take command.

The Clippers, who trailed by eight points at halftime, were outscored, 23-6, in the first five minutes of the third quarter.

The game may not have been a total loss for the Clippers, however, because Fitch might have found a point guard in forward Malik Sealy, acquired from the Indiana Pacers along with point guard Pooh Richardson and the rights to Nebraska swingman Eric Piatkowski for disgruntled point guard Mark Jackson and the rights to Louisville guard Greg Minor.

Sealy, who played the entire fourth quarter at point guard, had eight points, three assists, two rebounds and one steal in 12 minutes.

Forward Tony Massenberg had 16 points and 13 rebounds, including 10 in the first half, as the Clippers outrebounded Portland, 44-40. Guard Terry Dehere had 16 points, but scored only four points in the final three quarters.

Clipper Notes

The 39 fouls committed by the Clippers in Friday night's season-opening loss set a club single-game record, surpassing the old mark of 38, set in a 130-109 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 6, 1990. . . . The Clippers open their home season Thursday night against the Atlanta Hawks at the Sports Arena. The Clippers, who have a seven-game series at The Pond, play the Phoenix Suns Saturday night in Anaheim.

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