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CLIPPERS REPORT

Thornton on sick list too

January 30, 2008|Jonathan Abrams | Times Staff Writer

Amid the long list of questionables, there is one certainty.

If the Clippers do not have the services of leading scorers Chris Kaman and Corey Maggette, who have lingering flu-like symptoms, and now Al Thornton, sick because of a stomach virus, tonight's game against Atlanta figures to be a long one.

Maggette, who scored a season-high 35 points last weekend against Memphis, and Kaman both missed Monday's loss to the Charlotte Bobcats after coming home sick from the team's recent trip. Thornton's illness is unrelated, but he went to a hospital Tuesday.

Tonight's game is the last before the Clippers start a seven-game trip -- their longest of the season. The Clippers have lost seven consecutive road games.

Coach Mike Dunleavy stressed the importance of his team starting tonight out strong.

"Each one of these games is important to us as far as how they play and perform," he said. "The way you start games is really important to set the tempo. When you get a road team, if you can jump on them early, it's a good thing."

The Hawks have been hovering around the .500 mark most of the season.

"They've added some players that have now grown in their system and they went out and got Joe Johnson -- a player who is going to put up big numbers," Dunleavy said.

Tuesday, the eight healthy Clippers watched film for a little while, but the team did not even have enough bodies to do a walk-through. The scenario is almost enough to turn Sam Cassell speechless. Almost.

"We can't do nothing," Cassell said of Tuesday's practice. "We've got [eight] guys out here. We were watching film and just looking at guys like, 'Wow.' This is the first time I've ever been in the league and we've had [eight] healthy bodies and I've been in the league for 15 years."

Dunleavy said he was pleased with how Josh Powell responded to his additional playing time. Powell scored a season-high 12 points in 35 minutes against the Bobcats.

"Josh Powell stepped in and played really well for us and he's starting to put some games together where he is playing well and getting minutes and doing some of the things we thought he could do," Dunleavy said.

--

TONIGHT

vs. Atlanta, 7:30, FSN Prime Ticket

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 710.

Records -- Clippers 13-28, Hawks 18-23.

Record vs. Hawks (2006-07) -- 0-2.

Update -- The Hawks swept the Clippers in two games last season. The Clippers last beat the Hawks on Nov. 10, 2005, at Atlanta, 102-95.

jonathan.abrams@latimes.com

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