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CLIPPER REPORT

Dooling Frustrated by Slow Recovery

January 21, 2002

Clipper guard Keyon Dooling continues to rehabilitate his sprained left ankle, but it's not progressing as fast as he would like.

"I'm really frustrated," he said. "I want to play. It's hard to even watch the games. I still feel a part of [the team]. I still get into the locker room trash talk."

But he hasn't played since he was injured Nov. 14 against the Chicago Bulls. He has never been sidelined for more than a few games, but has been out for 33 now.

"A week or two at the most," he said. "I had the flu last season."

No return date has been set, but Dooling said, "We're still hoping for sometime in February. Hopefully, before the All-Star break. Or just after it."

With Dooling out, Jeff McInnis has handled almost all of the point-guard duties, averaging a team-leading 36.6 minutes (and 13.6 points, second-best on the club).

*

Forward Darius Miles often seems much older and wiser than his 20 years, particularly during postgame comments.

After the Clippers' late rush Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers trimmed a 38-point deficit to 20 by game's end, he said, "We didn't want to be on SportsCenter."

Asked about the Clippers' 3-14 road record, he said, "We don't have energy or intensity on the road. I'm one of the players who is supposed to come off the bench and bring intensity, so I feel like it's my fault."

Miles had a season-high 20 points (on seven-for-11 shooting and six of eight free throws) in the Clippers' 113-93 loss to the Trail Blazers. He also had 18 points last week in a loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

*

Lamar Odom, who sat out Saturday's game because of a sprained right wrist, is said to be questionable to play tonight against the Denver Nuggets.

Odom has been battling the injury since taking a hard fall Dec. 16 against the Detroit Pistons.

*

Coach Alvin Gentry has been pleased by the improvement of center Michael Olowokandi, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds against Cleveland for his seventh double-double this season.

"He may not be Shaq-like," Gentry said. "[But] if he continues to work and improve, he'll be in this league a long, long time as an effective player."

TONIGHT

vs. Denver

7:30, Fox Sports Net

Site--Staples Center.

Radio--KXTA (1150).

Records--Clippers 20-21, Nuggets 12-27.

Record vs. Nuggets--1-1.

Update--Denver is having a brutal season, and now guard Nick Van Exel says he wants out of town. The Nuggets are said to be trying to accommodate him. Last week, a Denver Post columnist called for the team to dump Van Exel and center Raef LaFrentz. Meanwhile, the Nuggets are even worse than the Clippers on the road, dropping to 2-15 after a loss Saturday at Seattle. Antonio McDyess, Denver's best player, has not played since undergoing surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left knee Oct. 12.

Tickets--(800) 462-2849.

Elliott Teaford

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