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Clippers Remain Winless : Pro basketball: Lakers rally behind Threatt for 102-92 victory after trailing by nine at the end of three quarters.


You knew it wouldn't last.

The Clippers, who had lost their first five games by an average of 15.4 points, built a nine-point lead going into the final quarter of Tuesday night's game against the Lakers.

But the Clippers, the NBA's only winless team, couldn't handle success, making 26% of their shots in the fourth quarter and losing for the sixth time in as many games, 102-92, before a crowd of 8,807 at the Sports Arena.

"I thought we had a chance tonight," Clipper Coach Bill Fitch said. "This was one of those we can look back on and at least say if. This was the first night we have been able to say if. "

Laker guard Sedale Threatt, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, said the Lakers, who made 61% of their shots in the fourth quarter, didn't want to be the first team to lose to the Clippers.

"It would have hurt," Threatt said. "To come here and lose, it would have been tough."

The Clippers got a standing ovation at the end of the third quarter after building an 80-71 lead.

But they were outscored, 12-2, in the final 3:46 as the Lakers won for the third time in seven games.

With the score tied at 90-90 after Clipper guard Terry Dehere made two free throws with four minutes to play, the Lakers scored 10 consecutive points. Cedric Ceballos, who had 24 points and nine rebounds, made a free throw with 3:46 remaining to start the run and Threatt made a jumper with 3:02 to play.

Clipper forward Tony Massenburg was called for goaltending on a hook by Vlade Divac with 2:31 remaining and Nick Van Exel made a free throw with 1:36 to play.

Divac, who had 24 points and 14 rebounds, added a dunk with 55 seconds left and Threatt made two free throws with 28.7 seconds left.

"We came out in the first half real sluggish," Threatt said. "Our guys missed a lot of shots. But we turned it up in the second half."

Laker Coach Del Harris said Threatt jump-started the Lakers in the final quarter as they outscored the Clippers, 31-12.

"Sedale was magnificent out there," Harris said.

"He's such a great competitor that we always know he'll give us a spark out there. Nick (Van Exel) was struggling. He's a competitor, but he was struggling."

The Clippers, who missed 14 of 19 shots in the final quarter, missed five shots in a row before forward Loy Vaught, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds, tipped in a shot with 12.6 seconds left.

The Lakers made two lineup changes before the game, one out of necessity and the other out of choice: Tony Smith for Eddie Jones, who had the flu, at shooting guard and Anthony Miller for George Lynch at power forward.

Harris had hinted after Saturday's loss at Golden State that he might make a switch to get more rebounding because Lynch averaged only 3.3 rebounds in 25.3 minutes the first six games.

But the change didn't work as the Clippers, the NBA's worst rebounding team, outrebounded the Lakers, 23-19, in the first half en route to taking a 58-51 halftime lead.

Miller, a 6-9 rookie with only 19 minutes experience coming into the game, had only two points and two rebounds in 15 minutes.

Clipper-Laker Notes

Clipper rookie forward Lamond Murray was 45 minutes late because he got stuck in traffic on his way to the game. . . . Clipper forward Loy Vaught said he's growing a beard in tribute to former Laker James Worthy, who retired last week. Vaught said he idolized Worthy when he was growing up.

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