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Another Clipper Debacle : Pro basketball: Off to worst start ever, they lose eighth consecutive game, 94-83, to the 76ers.

November 19, 1994|CHRIS BAKER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PHILADELPHIA — When will the Clippers win their first game of the season?

It won't be soon if they continue to play the way they did Friday. In losing for the eighth time in as many games, the Clippers fell behind by 25 points and were beaten, 97-83, by the Philadelphia 76ers, before 11,259 at the Spectrum.

Off to the worst start in franchise history, the Clippers unveiled their point-a-minute offense, trailing, 34-12, at the end of the first quarter.

"It was horrible," said Clipper Coach Bill Fitch, who watched his team miss 14 of its first 17 shots.

The only winless team in the NBA, the Clippers could threaten the record for most losses in a season, set by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who had a 9-73 record.

"If we were 9-1, we wouldn't be a headline," Fitch said. "The only reason we're a headline is because were 0-8. And that's how things magnify to a team, and I'm just not going to let it get in that locker room.

"Losing is losing, whether it's eight in a row or seven out of eight or seven out of nine. The fact that we've got a streak going and we broke a record (the 1982-83 San Diego Clippers lost their first seven), OK we're in the record book.

"I'm the last guy that's going to crawl on them and say they're a bunch of garbage. They're not. They're working hard. They don't have it collectively and individually right now."

The hecklers behind the Clipper bench weren't as kind to the Clippers as they mocked the NBA's worst team. Even some of the players on the Clipper bench laughed at the taunts.

With the Clippers trailing, 26-7, a fan yelled: "It looks like you guys have as many points as losses."

Said another fan: "I don't think this is an expansion team, but it plays like it."

Another fan held up a piece of paper and screamed at Fitch: "Hey, Bill, I've got your resignation typed up right here."

The Clippers made 7-foot-6 center Shawn Bradley of the 76ers look like an all-star.

Bradley, who began the game averaging 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.13 blocks, established career highs in points (28), rebounds (22), field goals (12), field goals attempted (20), offensive rebounds (nine) and defensive rebounds (13) and tied his career high for blocked shots (nine).

"It's not going to be like this every night, but I can work on it," said Bradley, who had 18 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks at halftime. "I saw the statistics and the 22 rebounds surprised me. I think any player needs a night like this."

Why don't the Clippers try to make a trade to improve the team?

"We missed making a big move this week," Fitch said, referring to the Clippers' unsuccessful pursuit of forward Chris Webber, who was traded from the Golden State Warriors to the Washington Bullets on Thursday. "You're not going to go out and get well making deals until these guys get some youth gone from them and play well together and gain some credibility.

"I've been there, it's no fun losing, but we'll play our way through it. Nobody's going to come in. Webber's not coming. You've got to do it yourself."

Clipper Notes

Coach Bill Fitch kept rookie forward Lamond Murray, the Clippers' top draft pick, on the bench until the fourth quarter. "I told him that he's not in shape," Fitch said. "Who do you play him ahead of? Do you play him because of where he was drafted (seventh), then you make the same mistake as the people who draft them (all rookies) and pay them more than they're worth."

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