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Clippers 128 New York 124 (ot)

Clippers' extra effort pays off

February 12, 2009|James Wagner

Anything would have been better than the last game.

A mere 73 points Monday against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats matched the Clippers' lowest output of the season.

So when the Clippers squeezed by the New York Knicks, 128-124, in overtime Wednesday at Staples Center, it was a welcome surprise on a day that featured a sore spot for the organization.

Only hours before tipoff, Elgin Baylor, the Clippers' former longtime team executive, filed a lawsuit against the team alleging employment discrimination.

On the court, the Clippers kept the game close the entire night, despite a 33-point onslaught by diminutive Knicks guard Nate Robinson.

They never trailed by more than 10 points. Every time the Knicks tried to pull further ahead, Clippers forward Al Thornton and guard Eric Gordon, who finished with a team-leading 30 points, secured a crucial rebound or made a tough shot.

The up-tempo Knicks dominated the Clippers in the paint, outscoring them, 60-44. But when it mattered most, Clippers center Zach Randolph muscled his way to the victory.

A short hook shot with 11.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter by Randolph, who finished with 22 points, sent the game to overtime.

The Knicks had seemingly pulled away for good with 25 seconds to go on a dunk by Al Harrington. But a technical foul by the Knicks forward and the Randolph shot propelled the Clippers into overtime and the win, their last game before the All-Star break.

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james.wagner@latimes.com

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