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Pro Basketball | CLIPPER REPORT

They're Rolling Without Odom

November 19, 2001|Elliott Teaford

The Clippers on Sunday improved to 5-2 without forward Lamar Odom, who was suspended Nov. 5 for a minimum of five games for violating the terms of the NBA's antidrug policy. There was no word Sunday from the league when Odom would be reinstated, and Odom's teammates are starting to wonder when he'll be back.

"When we get Lamar back and if we keep playing like this ... " power forward Elton Brand said, shaking his head as he trailed off. "We're trying to stick together as a team right now. We can't worry about waiting. We're anticipating his arrival."

Odom has been practicing with the team and his bruised left foot, which might have sidelined him anyway, is much improved. Because of the NBA's policy of keeping drug-related suspensions confidential, the Clippers are in the dark as to when Odom will return.

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Brand thought about a postgame question for a moment, then said, "Was I ever .500 with Chicago? Nope. So that's pretty big for me and the team."

The Bulls won 17 games during Brand's rookie season of 1999-2000 and 15 last season. The Clippers reached the .500 mark for the first time since Nov. 23, 1996, with a victory Wednesday over the Bulls, and they got back to .500 (at 5-5) with a 99-86 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.

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Clipper center Michael Olowokandi made three of six shots, took five rebounds and blocked three shots in 19 minutes in the first half. Then he took a seat, playing four minutes in the second half after picking up his third and fourth fouls.

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