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Clippers remain stuck on zero

Players express frustration after their record falls to 0-6. Kaman, Davis score 23 points apiece.

November 08, 2008|Lisa Dillman | Dillman is a Times staff writer.

Who would have thought there would be coast-to-coast drama involving the Clippers and Washington?

Welcome to the battle of the winless.

The Clippers are still that, having lost, 92-83, to the Rockets on Friday night at Staples Center. It was their sixth straight loss.

Escape from the prospect of being the last team in the league with a win was well within reach for the Clippers. The Wizards lost by six points earlier in the evening against the New York Knicks to fall to 0-4.

As for the Clippers, they steadied after a rocky opening quarter and trailed by five points heading into the fourth against what should have been a weary Rockets team, playing its second road game in as many nights.

So much for that educated theory.

"Maybe after 10 or 15 more games, we'll get a win," said dispirited Clippers center Chris Kaman, slumping in his chair in the dressing room.

For the record, he was kidding.

"It's frustrating, you don't want to lose six in a row," he said. "We have to be able to finish. And till that happens, I don't see us getting a win any time soon."

Kaman, who had 23 points and 11 rebounds, was dismissive of his stats.

"Who cares? When you lose a game, it doesn't matter if someone scores 50," he said.

Houston held on to win despite a spirited run from the Clippers in which they pulled to within five with two minutes remaining.

After Rockets center Yao Ming missed a 10-foot jumper with about a minute and a half left, with Houston leading, 88-83, Kaman missed a layup.

The Rockets pounced and went up by seven on Carl Landry's dunk with 58 seconds left.

And that was that.

"Forget about all that moral victory" stuff, said Clippers forward Al Thornton. "I don't believe in any of that. We need to get a W."

The Clippers' fortunes gradually turned when Rockets forward Luis Scola cooled after a torrid first quarter, in which he scored 14 points. He had none the rest of the way.

Then he got into serious foul trouble, picking up his fourth and fifth in less than a minute in the third quarter.

Ron Artest led the Rockets with 23 points, and Landry had 20. Yao scored 16.

Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy praised point guard Baron Davis and said he played him "huge minutes" because Davis was having such a strong game.

Davis had 23 points in 40 minutes, and Thornton was the other Clipper in double figures with 10 points.

Marcus Camby had 13 rebounds and six points in 26 minutes, and Dunleavy had to limit his time, keeping him out most of the third quarter.

There were glimmers of offense from others who have been struggling. Rookie guard Eric Gordon had seven points in 17 minutes and swingman Ricky Davis had seven points in 27 minutes.

Naturally, there was a Clippers injury.

This one occurred with less than a minute remaining in the opening quarter when forward Tim Thomas suffered a sprained left ankle and had to be helped off the court.

He did not return to the game. Later, team officials said the X-rays on the ankle showed no broken bones. Dunleavy thought that he would probably miss a week-plus.

That, in the Clippers' world, was a rare positive thing.


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