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NBA : Clippers pull out of spiral : They again give up a big lead but recover behind Baron Davis' effort, and overcome Durant's 40 points. / CLIPPERS 101, OKLAHOMA CITY 93


OKLAHOMA CITY — Not all lost leads are created equal.

This time, the Clippers' lead was not too big, too early -- the way it was a couple of days ago against the Raptors, as noted Clippers philosopher and big man Chris Kaman helpfully pointed out.

The Clippers merely lost a 13-point lead to the Thunder on Sunday. But then came this revelation: Apparently, not every squandered Clippers lead is gone forever.

Instead, the Clippers, who were behind as late as the last 1:59, rallied as they were led by Baron Davis.

Davis made a three-pointer with 43 seconds remaining and later added two free throws to secure the win, helping defeat Oklahoma City, 101-93, at the Ford Center.

Kaman led the Clippers with 25 points and seven rebounds, and Davis had 24 points, including two three-pointers.

They withstood a sensational effort from Oklahoma City star forward Kevin Durant, who had 40 points and eight rebounds, an upgrade from his stellar showing Wednesday, in which he had 30 points.

For the Clippers, it was their first victory in four games, and avenged last week's late stumble against the Thunder at Staples Center.

They are 4-7 and coming off one of their most distressing weeks in quite some time, which is saying a lot for the Clippers.

"We were on a little downward spiral for a little while," Kaman said. "Hopefully, this picks us up a little bit.

Yeah, it was more like a downward spiral, tumbling through the looking glass.

It may not quiet the talk of sweeping changes, but Marcus Camby did have to laugh when it was suggested speculation and rumors might switch direction and start circling another struggling NBA team.

"I don't know. It's always been like that since I've been here with the Clippers," he said. "I still feel confident in our team. Still, we're doing this despite having two key components out in Eric [Gordon] and Blake [Griffin]. Once we get those guys back, hopefully we should start rolling."

Still, he did not underestimate the impact of the victory.

"Huge," Camby said. "Huge. We definitely needed this one to start the road trip off right. It's kind of fortunate that we get to play teams we just played a week ago. It was a big win. We definitely needed it."

The Clippers received help from other previously subdued sources, one of them a struggling starter. Al Thornton, who is back in the starting lineup at small forward now that Rasual Butler has moved to shooting guard, had 20 points and five rebounds, and Kareem Rush came off the bench with decided energy and scored nine points in nearly 29 minutes.

"It was a big win just because we should have won the last time we played them at home . . . because we gave that game away," Thornton said.

"It was probably my best game of the season. I know I can play a lot better. I'm trying to get back to my old self. It's a steady process. I think I'm improving.

"I had a couple of dunks, You haven't seen that in a while."

Said Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy: "We've been playing a lot of games where we are just getting production from a few guys and I thought tonight we had a lot of help."

They held the Thunder to 39% shooting from the field. Durant, who was 14 for 25 from the field, had 18 points in the third quarter alone. But he was scoreless in the final 4 minutes 25 seconds.

"We have to find him more shots down the stretch," said Oklahoma City Coach Scott Brooks. "They were taking it away and sending two guys at him."

Kaman spoke about the abilities of Durant and added one more thing: "On top of that, he makes his free throws."

Well, almost all of them. Durant was 10 for 11 from the line.

"Oh, he missed one, that's too bad," Kaman said, sarcastically.


The Clippers' owner of No. 23, Camby, spoke about LeBron James' suggestion that players wearing that number give it up, in honor of Michael Jordan.

"I know, he [James] is not the league," Camby said. "Just because he says it, it doesn't mean it is set in stone. I hear where he's coming from.

"If everybody is into it, then I'm into it. Everybody is on board and then I'm on board. I had the number for 12 years, so I'm kind of accustomed to it."


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