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Senior Night for Clippers

They beat Warriors, 104-98, in Dunleavy's first regular-season game coaching against his son. Mike Jr. scores only seven points.

November 15, 2003|Jerry Crowe | Times Staff Writer

OAKLAND — The Clippers' Mike Dunleavy is not entirely comfortable coaching against his son, forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. of the Golden State Warriors.

But it was the younger Dunleavy who seemed to show the emotional strain of the historic father-and-son matchup Friday night in the Clippers' 104-98 victory over the Warriors in front of 13,122 at the Arena in Oakland.

His poor shooting helped the Clippers build a lead big enough to withstand a fourth-quarter rally by the Warriors, who trimmed a 17-point deficit to 96-94 inside the last 90 seconds before the Clippers clamped down.

With their third consecutive victory, the Clippers remained unbeaten since losing twice to the Seattle SuperSonics last month in Japan.

They made 49.4% of their shots, limited the Warriors to 41.8% shooting and got another big game from Chris Wilcox, who had 21 points and nine rebounds, establishing a career high in points for the second consecutive game.

"Chris has done a terrific job for us," the older Dunleavy said of the second-year forward from Maryland, who has replaced the injured Elton Brand in the starting lineup. "He's growing before our very eyes."

Quentin Richardson scored 19 points for the Clippers.

For the Warriors, reserve forward Brian Cardinal made 10 of 12 shots and scored a career-high 24 points in 31 minutes.

Dunleavy, meanwhile, scored a season-low seven points, made only two of 10 shots and played only five minutes in the second half.

Afterward, he quickly exited the locker room without talking to reporters.

"We did a good job on him ... just like we did a good job on a lot of their guys," his father said. "I thought our defense was very good."

It was only the second time in NBA history a father had coached against his son in a regular-season game, the first since Nov. 9, 1976.

On that night, Butch van Breda Kolff coached the New Orleans Jazz to a 110-99 victory over the New York Nets, who got six points, four rebounds and one assist from forward Jan van Breda Kolff in a game at New Orleans.

Dunleavy the coach, drawing upon his experience in two exhibitions last month, said he was uneasy lining up against a player whose talents he had helped nurture in countless one-on-one driveway duels, whose diapers he had changed.

"Your emotions are twisted," he said before the game. "You're not aligned, for probably the only time in your life. You've always been on the same page, always pulling for the same thing. I've always wanted him to do great, his team to win. And he's always wanted me to win.

"This time around, it's his job to not let me win, it's my job not to let him win. So, it's conflicting."

His son indicated that the matchup probably was less difficult for him, mostly because, "I don't pay much attention to the opposing coach during a game."

Besides, he had other worries.

Though he ranks among the Warrior leaders in scoring and rebounding, he shot poorly in Wednesday night's 87-85 victory over the Detroit Pistons and was benched early in the first and third quarters by Coach Eric Musselman.

"There are no charity minutes here," Musselman said later. "There never will be as long as I'm coach. We'll play who produces."

Dunleavy was back in his usual spot in the starting lineup Friday, but he missed his first two shots and the Clippers jumped to a 13-5 lead.

The Warriors, who gave up a league-high 103.6 points a game last season, had been bragging about their improved defense after giving up an average of only 88.1 in their first seven games, but the Clippers shredded it in the first half.

The Warriors had not given up 100 points in a game this season, but the Clippers were more than halfway there by halftime and led, 60-47.

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