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NBA : CLIPPERS FYI

Randolph and Collins join in

November 26, 2008|Mark Medina | Medina is a Times Staff Writer

Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins officially became part of the Clippers just in time to join their new teammates in a yoga session Tuesday.

"I've got to get my body used to that again," said Randolph, who said he had yoga sessions when he played for the Portland Trail Blazers. "We didn't do that in New York. I'm going to stick with it so I can be more flexible."

Consider the yoga class their first step in becoming acclimated with the Clippers. On Tuesday afternoon, the Knicks finalized a trade that sent Randolph and Collins to L.A. for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas.

The Clippers initially hoped Randolph and Collins would play in Monday's game against New Orleans, but the Knicks held up the deal over concerns about Mobley's heart condition.

Clippers assistant general manager Neil Olshey said New York came back to ask for more.

"The Knicks felt like there were complications that they weren't privy to. They felt like something additional on their behalf was warranted," Olshey said. "We're not willing to give up any of our young assets or any of the tools we have going down the road," so the original deal went through.

Assistant coach Kim Hughes ran Tuesday's practice because Coach Mike Dunleavy flew to Dallas for his father-in-law's funeral. Randolph will play 30 to 35 minutes in tonight's game against the Denver Nuggets, Hughes said.

Randolph and Collins spent Tuesday's practice shooting and playing four-on-four

"I'm going to go over individually with them our defensive coverages," Hughes said. "Zach knows how to score in any system, but he needs to know our defensive coverages."

Randolph averaged 20.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in 11 games for New York. The Clippers hope he will complement forward Marcus Camby and center Chris Kaman.

Nuggets help Camby

Camby credited his former Denver teammates in helping him deal with the Clippers' frustrating 2-12 start. He often trades text messages and phone calls with Denver players.

"The guys are telling me to keep my head up," said Camby, acquired last summer in a trade. "Even on the East Coast trip, I see Denver scouts come up to the side of the court and talk to me and tell me how much they miss me and how they wished I was in Denver.

"Just to keep my head up, they know we're going through a tough time right here. But they know I'm the type of person who can weather the storm."

Gordon time

In his first start Monday, rookie guard Eric Gordon scored a season-high 25 points, made nine of 18 shots, including four three-pointers, and played 36 minutes.

Gordon will start at shooting guard again tonight if Hughes assumes the temporary head-coaching duties.

"The more minutes I get, the more different things I can do, whether it's scoring or passing or trying to make plays," Gordon said.

Guard Ricky Davis is listed as doubtful with a sore left knee.

Times staff writer Lisa Dillman contributed to this report.

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mark.medina@latimes.com

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