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Randolph makes good adjustment

December 01, 2008|Lisa Dillman | Dillman is a Times staff writer.

Zach Randolph, being a multi-task kind of guy, decided to take his head in his own hands and work things out after the Clippers' practice Sunday.

The crack, as his neck adjusted, was impressively loud.

If this basketball thing doesn't work out, well, there's always room at a chiropractor's office for a smiling 6-foot-9 power forward.

Only if aligning the Clippers was quite as simple.

Progress in that general direction came Saturday as Randolph led the Clippers to a 97-96 victory over the Miami Heat, scoring 27 points, which included an explosive fourth-quarter performance.

"Just to get a win," Randolph said. "That's what it's all about. I would have been happy if we had won if I had two points and two rebounds. It's all about winning. We can turn this thing around."

He made his first start for the Clippers (3-13), and it was Randolph's second game with them since being acquired from the New York Knicks, along with Mardy Collins, in exchange for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas on Nov. 21.

"What you're going to get out of me, I'm going to grind it out the whole game," he said. "I pick my spots, try to be aggressive and get offensive rebounds and put-backs and do the things I know I'm capable of doing."

Said Coach Mike Dunleavy: "We ran a bunch of these Elton Brand plays for him and he did the rest. That's what we were expecting and hoping and thought he'd have a comfort zone in it, and he did.

"The main thing about him that's so special is his effort. Every single play he's in there battling, keeping balls alive. . . . He had 27. He could have had 35 or 40. He had a lot of chippies that didn't go in for him, that, on some nights, they all go in."


It was a light day of practice and rookie guard Eric Gordon (sore hamstring) and Marcus Camby (sore heel) took it easy.

Gordon spent a lot of time stretching, and reported his leg was feeling better, saying, "It's just a little strain, it's not going to hold me back." Gordon left Saturday's game late in the third quarter and Dunleavy didn't want to take the chance of Gordon pulling his hamstring.

Dunleavy, on Al Thornton's 27 points against the Heat: "I asked him, 'How do we bottle it?' "

Miami star Dwyane Wade, took aim at the officials for a late controversial call in Saturday's game, saying: "They took it from us." Randolph, though, noted the Heat, and Wade, ended up getting one more crack at a game-winning shot, saying of Wade, "He's got a lot of power."


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