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CLIPPERS FYI

Kareem Rush gets chance to contribute

The new Clipper entered the game against the Dallas Mavericks late in the first quarter after not playing in the first three games of the season.

November 01, 2009|Lisa Dillman

Kobe Bryant was front and center in the Clippers' locker room on Saturday night before their game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Not literally, but you get the idea.

The Clippers were watching the tape of the Mavericks' victory over the Lakers on Friday and a frustrated-looking Bryant loomed large.

At the same time, new Clipper Kareem Rush was reminiscing about his former teammate, telling stories about Bryant's legendary work habits, including arriving at the gym at 6 a.m.

His duties as a Lakers rookie once included taking care of Bryant's laundry, and staying out of his way as much as possible.

Now about the present . . .

"I just want to get in and contribute," Rush said. "If given the right opportunity, I think I can go out there and do it. . . . Everyone knows I can shoot the ball, and score, but I wanted to focus on defense and become an all-around player."

Rush got his first shot at doing just that, getting into the Mavericks' game late in the first quarter.

Etc.

The Clippers had five offensive rebounds in the first quarter against the Mavericks, two more than they did the entire game against Utah on Friday.

Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy was asked if he was concerned about Al Thornton, who went two for 10 in the loss to the Jazz. Thornton missed his first four shots against the Mavericks before finally hitting one and was one for seven in the first half.

"I'm not overly concerned in the sense that he's had some tough matchups the first couple of games," Dunleavy said. "As far as [Ron] Artest and then [Andrei] Kirilenko last night, they aren't the easiest ones. The main thing for him is to defend well, rebound, and just keep moving to be able to get opportunity to score."

--

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

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