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Defeat Leaves Mobley Miffed

CLIPPERS REPORT

May 23, 2006|Jason Reid | Times Staff Writer

PHOENIX — Swingman Cuttino Mobley seemed to imply that some of his teammates could have done more in Game 7 on Monday night.

"It all comes down to who's going to sacrifice," Mobley said. "That's what it's all about. One word: sacrifice."

When asked to explain what he meant, Mobley appeared frustrated, pausing several times to compose himself.

"I'm not trying to start anything," he said. "But we shouldn't even be here. We should have won this series. But everybody has to be willing to sacrifice. That's all I'm saying."

*

Point guard Sam Cassell had performed well in Game 7s throughout his career, but he had an off night against the Suns, scoring 11 points (he missed seven of 11 shots) with six assists.

Cassell was 5-1 in his previous Game 7s while averaging 18.8 points, 6.8 assists and shooting 50.9% from the field and 97.2% at the free-throw line.

The Clippers dropped to 0-2 in Game 7s in franchise history but still had "a great year," Cassell said.

"When I said in October that we'd have a good team, you all [reporters] looked at me like I was crazy," he said. "But the great thing about it is that if management does the right thing and brings everybody back, we're going to be in this situation next year too."

The 13-year veteran, who can become a free agent after the season, reaffirmed he wants to return. "I want to come back, and I know for sure Mike Dunleavy wants me back, so that's up to [owner] Donald Sterling," Cassell said. "He's the guy who signs the checks."

*

The Clippers added something significant to the playoff page in the team record book, but Dunleavy isn't satisfied.

Dunleavy said he's focused on winning a championship, and the Clippers are still a work in progress.

"We can get better and we will get better," he said. "We're not the Clippers from way back when. We're a different group.

"My goal is to win a championship. This team is on the move to win a championship. That's the total focus."

Dunleavy said this season was the most enjoyable of his 13-year coaching career.

"I appreciate our guys every day," he said. "Our guys are great and fun to work with. It's just very enjoyable and it's fun.

"This whole year has been really great in that regard. And where we are right now ... we're totally confident about the future and what we're trying to do."

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