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Richardson Returning to Normal

CLIPPER REPORT

December 18, 2002|Elliott Teaford | Times Staff Writer

The spin moves near the basket seemed vaguely familiar, as did the net-snapping shots launched from behind the three-point arc.

Quentin Richardson certainly looked like his old self while scoring a season-best 21 points (on six-for-eight shooting) during the Clippers' 91-79 victory Monday over the San Antonio Spurs.

Two sore knees set him back to start the season, but now Richardson has regained the explosiveness he needs to take other shooting guards to the basket and to score over them from the perimeter.

"I knew it was, basically, going to be a matter of time," said Richardson, who injured his right knee during training camp and missed all but one of the eight exhibitions, then banged his left knee not long after the regular season began.

"After a while, I was thinking it would pass and go away. But I couldn't do the things I normally do. I didn't think it would be possible to affect my game, but it did. I'm still not 100%. The right one is, but not the left one."

*

Eric Piatkowski will not play tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers, sitting out his fourth game because of a lower abdominal strain.

"It's one of those day-to-day things," said Coach Alvin Gentry, who will replace Piatkowski with Marko Jaric as the starting shooting guard. "I don't know how serious it is. When the pain goes away, he can play. That's pretty much it."

*

The Clippers have won five of their last seven games. They will play 10 of their next 14 games at Staples Center, where they are 6-7 this season.

"All in all, I think we've played well on the road," Gentry said, referring to the 5-7 road record. "What we have to do now is play well at Staples."

*

TONIGHT

vs. Portland, 7:30, Channel 5

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- KXTA (1150), KTNQ (1020, Spanish).

Records -- Clippers 11-14, Trail Blazers 12-11.

Record vs. Trail Blazers -- 0-1.

Update -- The Trail Blazers defeated the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday, a day after Scottie Pippen had told the Chicago Tribune the continued shuffling of players proves the team "doesn't want to win." Pippen also said the team lacks chemistry because it has such an overstocked roster. "How do you think guys respond when you pay them that kind of money?" he said. "They think they've got to go out and do something to earn their money. They've got to score. That kills chemistry."

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