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Davis looks sharp in his official debut

October 10, 2008|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

FRESNO -- All that was missing from a nearly ideal night was a Dodgers win, but baseball fan Baron Davis had to limit himself to events under his control.

His first appearance in a Clippers uniform in a game situation -- albeit an exhibition game -- featured the play-making Davis that you've come to expect, with 12 points, seven assists and a heavy dose of vocal leadership.

"It's good to play against someone besides yourselves," he said after the Clippers' 107-80 win against the Lakers on Thursday night. "We've been going at each other for the last two weeks. We know we've got a long ways ahead. This is no indication."

Thankfully, Davis was keeping it all in perspective. A local TV reporter asked Lakers Coach Phil Jackson if the Clippers should move to Fresno because they won here tonight.

"It would be a good place for them, in Fresno," Jackson said, laughing.

There has been much talk about Davis' backup at point guard, and there were encouraging early performances from Mike Taylor (20 points) and Jason Hart (seven points)

"Mike Taylor was terrific," Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said. "He just puts great pressure on the ball and plays with great speed and great energy and he's been playing that way all through camp."

Davis agreed, saying: "I thought he was great. He's good for where he is right now. I thought Jason Hart played really well for us and kept our lead. . . . We're definitely going to need that three-guard tandem."

Davis told stories earlier in training camp about watching Dodgers games on TV as a kid with his grandfather, bonding over baseball.

"I'm disappointed. But I know that the Dodgers will win Game 2," Davis said, smiling.

Wait and see

The chance to see how Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman work together in game conditions will have to wait until next week. Kaman started against the Lakers, scoring four points and committing three turnovers. Camby did not play.

Dunleavy said Kaman and Camby have done well together even though the evaluation period has been limited.

"Marcus is a very good passer and plays a little more on the outside," Dunleavy said. "Chris plays more inside and can go outside. I think they'll be a pretty good fit together."

Of note

Tim Thomas, who had eight points in 18 minutes, left the game late in the third quarter and did not return. He suffered a strained left groin.

Job watch

Naturally, it didn't take long for names to surface around the league as possible replacements for Elgin Baylor's job.

One problem.

Dunleavy has the position.

Former Lakers coach Randy Pfund, who, until very recently, was the Heat's GM, was asked by the Palm Beach Post if he was interested in the Clippers' spot. His answer: "I think it'd be best to wait and see if there was a job there."

But the word interim was not attached to Dunleavy's new job as general manager.

Pfund, of course, has long-standing ties to Dunleavy, having served as his assistant with the Lakers. The thought is that he won't have any shortages of opportunities, Chicago being one potential destination.


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