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Butler creates his own highlight

October 13, 2009|Lisa Dillman

Rasual Butler may have been happier about Blake Griffin's first points as a Clipper than, well, Blake Griffin.

Butler was kicking back in the locker room after an exhibition victory over Portland last week, and the general consensus was that a clip of the No. 1 overall draft pick's scoring had to be on ESPN since Griffin's firsts have been recorded at every turn.

If not EPSN, then YouTube. Meaning plenty of Butler.

After all, it was Butler's behind-the-back pass that set up Griffin's dunk in the first quarter. "A hockey assist," teammate Al Thornton said, dryly.

Playmaker, scorer and creator of highlight moments on Friday, Butler was simply scorer Monday night, when he ignited a second-half comeback as the Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors, 124-117, at Staples Center. They survived a ragged first half that left them trailing by 16 points.

Butler scored a team-high 27 points in 37 minutes and was nine for 16 from the field, including five for seven from three-point range. He also had three assists and six rebounds.

The Clippers are 2-1 in exhibition games and Butler has led them in scoring in both victories, coming off the bench. Coach Mike Dunleavy put him in at small forward to start the third quarter Monday.

"Rasual's ability to move the basketball, shoot the ball from range, stretch the defense and make good decisions with the basketball was a big part of the decision to put him in there," said Dunleavy.

The Clippers got Butler from the New Orleans Hornets for a conditional draft pick.


Griffin update

Game 2 of the Griffin Era: The rookie came off the bench and had 15 points and nine rebounds in almost 23 minutes. Eric Gordon added 22 points, Chris Kaman had 16 and Baron Davis had 13 points and 11 assists.


Snow patrol

If you were looking for the return package(s) from the Quentin Richardson trade on the floor Monday night, the evidence was not in sight.

Dancing Mark Madsen? Waived, long ago. Forward Craig Smith and guard Sebastian Telfair? Both injured.

Then again, Richardson never made it here either. He wasn't a Clipper for much more than a holiday weekend, as they got him from Memphis (for Zach Randolph) and then flipped him like a piece of real estate to Minnesota for the likes of Smith, Telfair and Madsen.

Smith and Telfair both played Friday, but Telfair hurt his hamstring in practice Sunday and Smith has a sore groin.

Smith made a reference to the weather in Minnesota and traded cold-weather stories.

"Things are good," said the Inglewood native. "It's a good feeling to be home, a good feeling to be around some warm weather for a change.

"Oh man, I thought I was used to it, being in Boston. It's just a different kind of cold. It's a dry cold, man. Kept a heated garage and made sure I had on at least two pairs of sweats before I left."

Smith played at Fairfax High before heading to Boston College. His phone rang on July 20, one of those life-altering calls.

"My agent called me and asked how I'd like playing in 80-degree weather, so I was laying in bed and I immediately got up, two seconds later," he said.

Eighty-degree weather eliminated a lot of guesswork, but not all.

"I knew it wouldn't be the Lakers," Smith said, smiling.


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